Finn Russell is in contention for a place in this weekend’s British and Irish Lions second test against South Africa after a speedy recovery from an achilles tear.
Assistant coach Steve Tandy revealed that the Scotland stand-off had taken part in full training on Monday. Subject to any reaction he could be part of Saturday’s squad with first test starting 10 Dan Biggar still to negotiate concussion protocols.
Coaches waiting on Biggar and Russell
The Wales 10 has to sit out training for six days after taking a head knock in Saturday’s 22-17 victory in Cape Town. Russell hasn’t played since the win over the Sigma Lions early in the tour after a slight tear in his Achilles.
“All being well Dan will be available to train with on Thursday with the team, and Finn started training with us today,” said defence coach Tandy on Monday morning.
“He’s certainly potentially in the mix (for the second test). We’ll see how he holds up but he’s certainly been reacting well to the training work so far. We’ll discuss all that (at the selection) meeting this evening.”
Goal-line defence pleases Tandy
Tandy has been especially pleased with the way the Lions defended their line during Saturday’s win. He fully expects the pressure to be ramped up by the wounded Boks in the second test.
“It’s been really good to see the way we reacted defensively when we were in those areas,” he said. “I’m sure we’re going to have to dig deep at some point over the next two weeks in and around that goal-line defence.
“They’re big and physical and we know the pride South Africa have in their maul. So we know we’ll have to continue with that mindset around the goal-line.
“You saw on the weekend when they did bust us a little bit on one maul in our 22. But the speed that Maro (Itoje) had to get back and turnover the ball. That’s the appetite of the boys to defend our line.”
Lions primed for a Bok backlash
The Lions know a Bok backlash is coming, but they are ready for whatever is thrown at them.
“You can’t rest on your laurels, especially against South Africa,” continued Tandy. “We know how strong and proud they are in the setpiece. You don’t win a World Cup without a strong setpiece.
“It’s something we need to continue to work on, have a good training week and prepare properly for the game.
“We’ll do what’s necessary, in that balance of how much we do and making sure there’s plenty left conditioning wise. But I don’t see it being any different than any other week.”