Nelson Mandela Stadium – Port Elizabeth
Date:16 June 2009 – Kick Off 3pm local time (2pm BST)
UK Television: Sky Sports 2 & HD 2 (1.30pm)
Referee:Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Cobus Wessels
Television Match Official:Johann Meuwesen
15 Tiger Mangweni
14 Wylie Human
13 Frikkie Welsh
12 De Wet Barry
11 Rayno Benjamin
10 Jaco van der Westhuyzen
9 Francois Hougaard
8 Darron Nel
7 Solly Tyibilika
6 Mpo Mbiyoso
5 Ross Skeate
4 Marco Wentzel
3 Ruan Vermeulen
2 Derick Küun
1 Jaco Engels
British & Irish Lions
15. Keith Earls (Munster/Ireland)
14. Shane Williams (Ospreys/Wales)
13. Riki Flutey (London Wasps/England)
12. Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster/Ireland)
11. Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster/Ireland)
10. James Hook (Ospreys/Wales)
9. Mike Blair (Edinburgh/Scotland)
8. Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
7. Joe Worsley (London Wasps/England)
6. Nathan Hines (Perpignan/Scotland)
5. Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster/Ireland) captain
4. Simon Shaw (London Wasps/England)
3. Euan Murray (Northampton/Scotland)
2. Ross Ford (Edinburgh/Scotland)
1. Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks/England)
16. Matthew Rees (Scarlets/Wales)
17. Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
18. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers/England)
19. David Wallace (Munster/Ireland)
20. Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers/England)
21. Ronan O’Gara (Munster/Ireland)
22. Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England)
So we now have a good idea of who will be facing the Springboks in the first test next week! Despite all the protestations by Geech and the management team that selection for the Southern Kings game does not mean that you will necessarily have missed out on test selection, it will be hard to see that happening after playing most of a match less than 4 days before the big one.
Realistically, you are only likely to feature in the first test if you are picked on the bench for the Kings game so those that have been picked to start will no doubt be disappointed.
Still, it is up those players that have been picked to prove the coaches wrong and force their way into contention for selection for the second and third tests. There is all to play for and being selected for this game gives you another chance to impress the selectors ahead of the next round of matches.
Players like skipper for the day Donnacha O’Callaghan, Nathan Hines, Euan Murray and Luke Fitzgerald will all be disappointed, but I don’t anyone else can be too surprised at their inclusion in this game. Those on the bench will still be likely test candidates.
You can also surmise that those not figuring in this line up at all will likely be guaranteed starters this weekend, especially given that those not selected for this match are travelling separately (for the first and only time on tour) straight to Durban and will not be present at the Southern Kings game.
The opposition for this game are essentially a scratch side too. The team is a newly formed side looking for elevation into the Super 14 to make it a Super 15 tournament, but they failed at the last time of trying and this game is the only fixture on the calendar at present for the side, but this game will feature a number of specially invited players to turn out for them.
Some names will already be familiar to UK audiences with the likes of Wylie Human, Frikkie Welsh and De Wet Barry turning out to name just a few. The side itself isn’t a weak one and features five former Springboks and a smattering of star names formerly of the Super 14 side the Bulls.
However, the Lions are still predicted to be way too strong for the Kings and this game should be a little bit one sided. Mind you, how many times have we said that over the last few weeks and it’s been anything but!
This side is a representative side and should be one of the weakest that the Lions will face. Even with the Lions hurting through the disappointment of missing out on test selection, they will still be far too professional and strong for the Kings.
Southern Kings 12 British & Irish Lions 38