Don't give Springboks 'get-out-of-jail card', Gatland tells Lions

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British and Irish Lions centre Chris Harris has been brought in to add midfield strength for the second Test against South Africa on Saturday
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British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said on Tuesday he had picked a team for the second Test aimed at preventing the Springboks from getting back into the three-match series.

Gatland announced a team with three changes in the starting line-up from the side that won the first Test 22-17 in Cape Town last week. The second Test will be at the same venue on Saturday.

Centre Chris Harris, scrum-half Conor Murray and loosehead prop Mako Vunipola replace Elliot Daly, Ali Price and Rory Sutherland.

"They'll be desperate," Gatland said of the Springboks, "while we have a chance to win the series. I've told the players we've got to be mentally right because we don't want them to use a get-out-of-jail card.

"We gave away a number of penalties in the first half but we were much more disciplined in the second half," said Gatland. "Our focus is on starting well."

The Lions trailed 12-3 at half-time in the first Test.

The 1.88-metre, 104-kilogramme Harris has been brought into midfield to counter what Gatland expects to be another direct, physical approach from the Springboks, while Murray was steady when he came on as a second-half replacement.

Gatland said the attacking skills of Daly and Price could be used in the second half when the game "might open up a bit".

The elevation of England forward Vunipola caps a remarkable promotion for a player who was not in the original matchday 23 for the first Test.

- Vunipola's big impact -

Vunipola was brought into the squad on the morning of the match because of a shoulder injury to Welsh prop Wyn Jones.

He made a big impact as a second-half replacement as the Lions successfully negated the threat of what was regarded as a powerful Springbok replacement front row.

Gatland said he was pleased with the way the Lions had performed in the scrums and mauls last Saturday, while allowing the Springboks only four lineout throws.

"Take that (forward superiority) away from them and they don't really have a setpiece to launch from," he said.

Murray will partner Dan Biggar, provided the fly-half is cleared to play after being concussed during the first Test.

"He's doing well but we're going through the protocols," said Gatland.

Loose forward Taulupe Faletau is added to the replacements in place of Hamish Watson in another move which Gatland suggested could add to the Lions' attacking capabilities in the second half.

Gatland said leaving Liam Williams out of the matchday 23 was a tough call motivated by Daly's ability to cover full-back, wing and outside centre from the bench.

Team (15-1)

British and Irish Lions: Stuart Hogg; Anthony Watson, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Conor Murray; Jack Conan, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Maro Itoje; Tadhg Furlong, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola

Replacements: Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Taulupe Faletau, Ali Price, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly

Coach: Warren Gatland (NZL)


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