Captain backs Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw to inject energy into Lions attack

Jones praised the energy Aki has brought to the camp despite being overlooked for the opening two Tests
Captain backs Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw to inject energy into Lions attack

Robbie Henshaw with Bundee Aki ahead of the third and decisive Test. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones is backing the centre partnership of Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw to bring some excitement for the tourists in Saturday’s final Test against South Africa.

Aki and Ireland team-mate Henshaw will renew their alliance forged in Connacht between 2014 and the latter’s departure for Leinster two years later after they were named together for the Lions’ series victory bid at Cape Town Stadium.

Jones praised the energy Aki has brought to the camp despite being overlooked for the opening two Tests and thinks the Connacht man add something different to the starting line-up for this must-win game.

“Yeah, very much so. He has shown those traits and that character throughout the tour, on and off the park, which has been great to see,” the tour skipper said of Aki.

“You can see it, he has been chomping at the bit and (now) he gets his chance. I think him and Robbie, that partnership is definitely going to be exciting.”

Jones has urged his team to clean up their act after a poor second half last Saturday when the Lions conceded eight penalties in the last 20 minutes as the Springboks pulled away to a 27-9 victory that levelled the series.

Asked if he expected another arm wrestle this weekend like the first two Tests, he said: “It has the potential to be that way. You see finals that can be attritional things, but they do open up as well.

“I’d like to think we’re prepared for both. We don’t want to stifle ourselves with relying too much on the kicking game. It’s a balance. Something we probably didn’t have last week, particularly in that second-half. We were in it until 60 and then discipline probably cost us. We probably want to have the ability to do both and be ready for both.”

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