Starting fly-half Dan Biggar helped off the field early

Finn Russell on after 11 minutes in Lions decider

The selection of Finn Russell on the bench for the series decider between the Springboks and the British & Irish Lions hinted at a potential style of play later in the game for the tourists – but no one expected to see the Scottish playmaker so early in this Test. Sadly for Dan Biggar, the starting ten had to be helped off the park as he struggled to put weight on his leg.

Biggar began the match with heavy strapping already and looked up for the match, though he did miss one early shot at goal. But after making a tackle on Lukhanyo Am before a Boks move broke down, the Welsh fly-half looked in serious discomfort.

Early into his introduction the replacement fly-half slotted a penalty kick, which must have settled his nerves.

And from the get-go he was playing the way we expect from the Racing 92 star. He was making plenty of short touches.

And with a penalty and the match poised at 3-3, the Lions shunned the points and asked Russell to kick for the corner. From the lineout, the tourists’ pack got the shove and drove it all the way in with Ken Owens getting the try. From slightly wider out, Russell slotted the conversion to make it 10-3 to the Lions.

Not long before the half hour mark, with great momentum generated by the Lions forwards once again, he was able to make use of his backline too. And with Liam Williams unleashed the game opened up, before breaking down as the full-back opted not to hit Josh Adams out wide. But it looked like the fly-half was enjoying himself and the backline were getting space to work with.

As has been the case all series, though, the second half can look very different to the first. And the springboks came roaring back.

Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter