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British and Irish Lions 2021: Courtney Lawes says vacationers can’t ‘scrap’ in opposition to South Africa

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Courtney Lawes was named in the starting XI for all three Tests in South Africa
Venue: Cape Town Stadium Date: Saturday 7th August Kicking off: 17:00 CEST
Cover: Follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Flanker Courtney Lawes says the British and Irish Lions cannot get caught up in “scrapping” with South Africa in Saturday’s crucial third Test.

The series is drawn at 1-1 after South Africa claimed victory in a second Test that drew complaints due to the number of interruptions in the game.

Tension between the two sides boiled over, which slowed the game down further, and Lawes says speed is key.

“You can throw your handbags around as many times as you want,” he said.

“As long as we can get the ball out and play rugby.”

Lions head coach Warren Gatland is one of those who has become the “stop-start” character of the. have expressed 27-9 defeat in the second test..

The ball has been in play for the shortest amount of time on the Lions tour, with numerous interruptions for referee decisions.

Gatland said he would speak to the officers to try to speed up the game for the decision maker and Lawes both agreed that a faster game would appeal to tourists.

“We can’t get too caught up in the scrapping stuff,” continued the 32-year-old, who started the two previous tests from the back row.

“It just slows the game down and it doesn’t help us. We like a game that is fast-paced.

“They came up with a clear game plan in the last game and that was to slow the game down. We’re a really fit team and we want to move the ball.

“It is obviously going to be tough and it will be a conscious effort to stay out of this dogfight because I can imagine they will bring it back.”

“We have to do more” – Townsend

Finn Russell prepares to catch a ball
Fly-half Finn Russell returns from an injury and lets the Lions get more creative from the bench

Gatland has made extensive changes for the final test in Cape Town and brought hooker Ken Owens, prop master Wyn Jones, scrum half Ali Price, center Bundee Aki, wing Josh Adams and full-back Liam Williams into his starting XI.

Attack coach Gregor Townsend says the Lions have to “do more” if they want to win a series against the world champions.

That creativity could have come from Finn Russell, who is sitting on the bench instead of Owen Farrell after recovering from an Achilles injury.

Townsend says the Scotland 10 “can ask different questions than any half of the fly” and also backed fellow countryman Price: “He’s got the pace to fill the gaps”.

“If you create opportunities, you have more chances of winning the game,” continued Townsend.

“They can do more with pressure. We know that we need to have more control of the game by moving South Africa and drawing power from them whenever we can.”

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