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Three Lions players looking to push Test claims against South Africa A

Iain Henderson, Tom Curry and Louis Rees-Zammit will be out to impress coach Warren Gatland.

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Iain Henderson, Louis Rees-Zammit and Tom Curry will be out to impress coach Warren Gatland (Steve Haag/David Rogers/PA).

Iain Henderson, Louis Rees-Zammit and Tom Curry will be out to impress coach Warren Gatland (Steve Haag/David Rogers/PA).

Iain Henderson, Louis Rees-Zammit and Tom Curry will be out to impress coach Warren Gatland (Steve Haag/David Rogers/PA).

The British and Irish Lions face their toughest test of the tour so far when they collide with a South Africa ‘A’ side containing 522 caps in their XV and seven starters from the crushing 2019 World Cup final victory over England.

Here the PA news agency looks at three Lions players with a point to prove in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Iain Henderson – Ireland, second row

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Iain Henderson is a strong contender for the Lions Test team (Steve Haag/PA)

Iain Henderson is a strong contender for the Lions Test team (Steve Haag/PA)

PA

Iain Henderson is a strong contender for the Lions Test team (Steve Haag/PA)

The dramatic news that Alun Wyn Jones could make a “miracle” recovery from his dislocated shoulder and rejoin the Lions tour is all the motivation Henderson needs to empty the tanks against the shadow Springboks. His second-row partnership with Maro Itoje has the appearance of a Test combination and an imposing display against strong opponents will underline the value of this abrasive, physical lock who can also play in the back row.

Tom Curry – England, flanker

The most intriguing duel of all is unfolding at openside flanker where Curry and Hamish Watson are competing fiercely to face the world champions. Curry made a delayed start because of a pectoral injury and Watson capitalised on his absence by excelling in the clash with the Sigma Lions. Against a formidable South Africa line-up, however, England’s high-energy openside has the opportunity to make a statement to Warren Gatland.

Louis Rees-Zammit – Wales, wing

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Louis Rees-Zammit is playing in the fiercely competitive wing position (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Louis Rees-Zammit is playing in the fiercely competitive wing position (Andrew Milligan/PA)

PA

Louis Rees-Zammit is playing in the fiercely competitive wing position (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Gatland is blessed with options on the wing. Tryscoring machine Josh Adams is a nailed-on starter, Anthony Watson is a class act and 2017 Lions tourist and the powerful Duhan van der Merwe also cannot stop scoring. Rees-Zammit, still only 20, has fallen slightly behind his rivals and needs to make up for lost ground at Cape Town Stadium. He has done little wrong but on a tour where provincial sides have been swept aside by an avalanche of tries, he has yet to make a major impact.

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