Warren Gatland Doesn’t Want The Lions To Use Their ‘Get Out Of Jail’ Card This Weekend
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Warren Gatland has made it clear he doesn’t want his Lions side using their ‘get out of jail’ card this weekend by going to the third Test.
The Lions are 1-0 up in the three-Test series following their impressive 22-17 win in Cape Town last Saturday and Gatland reckons the reigning world champions will be “desperate” to bring the series level.
A win for the tourist on Saturday will ensure a series victory with a game to spare but the Springboks are more than capable of bringing it to the last weekend and have made six changes in total to their matchday 23 in a bid to turn the tide.
Gatland said he has spoken to his players about being “mentally right” as they look to make history this weekend.
“South Africa are going to be desperate, aren’t they?” Gatland said.
“They want to stay in the series and we’ve got a chance to win the series and I have spoken to the players about that.
“We need to make sure we are mentally right as you don’t want to be using your ‘get out of jail’ card by going to the third Test, you want to make the most of the opportunity we’ve created.”
Gatland has made three changes to the starting XV himself and admitted there were some tough calls to make again.
“It was just about picking what we thought was the best team for this match. Some tight, tough calls and lots of different choices that we could have gone with,” Gatland explained.
“We could have easily gone with the same 23 who won the first Test match, but we made a few changes because we wanted to pick a team for what we’re expecting to come from South Africa.
“There was a discussion [about sticking with the same team] but if we were going to make any changes it wasn’t going to be one, it was going to be two or three changes.
“We did discuss rewarding that 23 for winning the first Test and then we looked at a couple of individuals, we looked at ball-in-play time and we thought our bench was outstanding.
“They had a big impact and that was definitely a consideration when making a couple of changes and also being aware that’s it’s not just about the 15 selected, it’s about the 23.”