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How the British and Irish Lions player rated after the lost series to South Africa | Rugby Union News

We look at how all the British and Irish Lions players rated after the 2021 tour to South Africa which ended in a 2-1 Test series loss; Lions lose decisive Test 19-16 on Saturday

Last Updated: 08/08/21 1:41pm

Lions players look dejected after losing the third Test and the series

Lions players look dejected after losing the third Test and the series

The British and Irish Lions fell to an agonising 2-1 series defeat after South
Africa won the decisive final Test 19-16.

Here we rate the players involved against the Springboks.

Stuart Hogg: 5/10
The Lions stuck by him for the second Test but Hogg was shaky under the high ball and had no chance to shine in attack.

Liam Williams: 5
Appeared in the decider and while he lived up to his ‘Bomb Diffuser’ billing, he wasted a glorious try-scoring opportunity.

Williams has a chance to offload to Josh Adams, but he goes himself and he's well tackled! Ref was playing advantage to the Lions and once again Russell goes to the corner

Williams has a chance to offload to Josh Adams, but he goes himself and he’s well tackled! Ref was playing advantage to the Lions and once again Russell goes to the corner

Williams has a chance to offload to Josh Adams, but he goes himself and he’s well tackled! Ref was playing advantage to the Lions and once again Russell goes to the corner

Anthony Watson: 6
The pick of the back three in the second Test yet was dropped by Warren Gatland. A lethal runner, but needed to see more ball.

Josh Adams: 7
The tour’s leading try-scorer was in position to pounce in the decider in his solitary appearance in the series but Williams went it alone.

Duhan van der Merwe: 6
Saved his best until last. Lucky to escape the axe after first two Tests but his powerful running was a feature of the final clash.

Chris Harris: 6
Brought in for one Test and then jettisoned, but left his mark on South Africa with a crunching early tackle that was felt in the stands.

Elliot Daly: 6
Started the first Test at outside centre but the arm wrestle was not his type of match and he spent the next two on the bench.

Elliot Daly gets hit hard by Lukhanyo Am in the opening Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions

Elliot Daly gets hit hard by Lukhanyo Am in the opening Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions

Robbie Henshaw: 8
The pick of the Lions backs in the series and he will return to Ireland with his reputation enhanced.

Bundee Aki: 7
Among Gatland’s regrets must be that Aki and Henshaw were not paired together until the end. Aki brought power and passion.

Dan Biggar: 7
Solid enough at fly-half but the change brought about by Finn Russell’s entrance into the final Test was dramatic.

Owen Farrell: 6
Steady when he came on as a replacement in the first two Tests, but generally looked out of sorts on the tour.

Finn Russell: 8
What a difference a player makes. Transformed the Lions’ attacking game in the decider, if only he had been fit for the whole series.

Finn Russell performed brilliantly in the third and final Test

Finn Russell performed brilliantly in the third and final Test

Ali Price: 7
Truly came alive when Russell stepped off the bench. Rose to the occasion and improved during the first Test.

Conor Murray: 6
Displaced Price for the second game and then found himself back on the bench. Best days are behind him.

Rory Sutherland: 5
Vulnerability at the scrum was exposed in the first Test and as soon as Wyn Jones was fit, he was gone.

Mako Vunipola: 7
Rediscovered some of his best form and can still be a force, but his scrummaging remains a weakness.

Wyn Jones carries into contact for the Lions

Wyn Jones carries into contact for the Lions

Wyn Jones: 8
Missed the first two Test with a shoulder injury and showed in the third why he had left a giant hole in the Lions’ front row.

Ken Owens: 7
Scored a try from a maul and his only start in the decider saw a much tidier line-out display.

Luke Cowan-Dickie: 7
Unlucky to be dropped with the series tied at 1-1. Forceful and direct, although there were a few line-out wobbles in the opener.

Luke Cowan-Dickie

Luke Cowan-Dickie

Tadhg Furlong: 8
A stalwart of the series who never took a backwards step at tighthead. Scrummaged well and powerful in the loose.

Kyle Sinckler: 7
Served the Lions well as an impact replacement later on and should have been in the original squad.

Alun Wyn Jones: 8
‘Lazarus’ produced one of the most remarkable injury comebacks in rugby, all that was missing was a series triumph.

Maro Itoje: 8
The Lions’ best performing forward reached staggering heights in the opener and continued to excel. Truly world class.

Maro Itoje reinforced his world-class status on tour with the Lions

Maro Itoje reinforced his world-class status on tour with the Lions

Adam Beard: 6
Brought on to the bench for the final Test to negate South Africa’s maul and was fully involved in the close quarter combat.

Tadhg Beirne: 6
A strong tour never got the reward it deserved with two cameo appearances his only contribution to the series.

Courtney Lawes: 8
Alongside Itoje, the England bruiser was a towering presence in the first Test. A physical presence throughout.

Courtney Lawes was one of the standout players for the Lions

Courtney Lawes was one of the standout players for the Lions

Tom Curry: 7
More was expected of a player who has been pulling up trees for England. Defence and work rate were brilliant at times, but he was also quiet.

Jack Conan: 8
Another Irish ever-present for the series, Conan tackled and carried relentlessly. A rallying point for the Lions.

Taulupe Faletau: 6
A big-name casualty of Gatland’s ruthless streak in selection and was disappointing for the 21 minutes he was on the pitch.

Sam Simmonds: 6
His only appearance was for the final quarter of the series but he was unable to turn the tide against the determined Springboks.

Hamish Watson

Hamish Watson

Hamish Watson: 6
Picked on the bench for the first Test and played only 24 minutes, but acquitted himself well.


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