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Lions Tour 2021 fixtures in South Africa: Match dates, times and TV schedule

The British & Irish Lions will embark on an eight-match tour to South Africa in July culminating in the third and final Test in August
The British & Irish Lions Tour in South Africa begins on July 3, although there will be a pre-tour match against Japan at Murrayfield on June 26 before the team departs.

The tour has been shortened from 10 games to eight, with the Lions playing Super Rugby sides the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls before the Test series.

The first match in South Africa will be against the Stormers on July 3, with further warm-up matches against a South Africa Invitational side, the Sharks, South Africa A and the Bulls before the start of the three-Test series against the Springboks on July 24. The final Test is on August 7.

Sky Sports has the exclusive broadcast rights for the tour.

Lions Tour 2021 fixtures and TV channel

Saturday, June 26… Japan… Murrayfield… Sky Sports… KO TBC

Saturday July 3… Stormers… Cape Town… Sky Sports… KO 7pm GMT

Wednesday, July 7… South Africa Invitational… Port Elizabeth… Sky Sports… KO 7pm GMT

Saturday, July 10… Sharks… Durban… Sky Sports… KO 7pm GMT

Wednesday, July 14… South Africa A… Mbombela… Sky Sports… KO 7pm GMT

Saturday, July 17… Bulls… Pretoria… Sky Sports… KO 7pm GMT

Saturday, July 24… South Africa… Johannesburg… Sky Sports… KO 7pm GMT

Saturday, July 31… South Africa… Cape Town… Sky Sports… KO 7pm GMT

Saturday, August 7… South Africa… Johannesburg… Sky Sports… KO 7pm GMT

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British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT SportSuite

PT SportSuite has been chosen by the British & Irish Lions to provide media services, empowering Lions to tell the story of the 2021 SA tour. Rugby enthusiasts can book British lions 2021 ticketson our website at exclusively discounted prices.

With less than a year until the team lands in Cape Town, the association will establish a cloud media ecosystem that will transform the way Lions collect, manage and share their digital media while enabling the collection of multimedia content of players and followers.

British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT SportSuite
British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT SportSuite

The association will establish a cloud media ecosystem that will transform the way Lions collect, manage and share their digital media. By transforming Lions’ digital media workflow, unlocking the power of their digital media archive, and providing OTT video distribution to the tour’s mobile app and web platform, fans will enjoy more epic sports content than ever.

In a key attraction for Lions, PT SportSuite will work with existing partners to ensure unprecedented collaboration among all stakeholders by providing an official media portal that provides sponsors with real-time access to exclusive Lions media.

The main stakeholders will always be the supporters of the Lions of the “sea of reds”. In an effort to make South Africa 2021 truly a fan affair, fans will have the opportunity to make their own mark on the rich history of the team by making their own Lions media presentations through a series of content challenges for fans.

Rich Cheary

Rich Cheary, CEO of PT SportSuite, said: It is a great honor for our team to work with the British & Irish Lions, one of the world’s great sports brands, and their partners. The 97 Lions’ epic tour of South Africa is still indelibly imprinted on my sports memory, so for PT SportSuite bringing our digital ecosystem is very exciting for our sports fan team.

British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT SportSuite
British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT SportSuite

We look forward to working with the Lions to provide a foundation on which to unearth the digital gems of past tours: Rich Cheary, CEO of PT SportSuite.

“We look forward to working with the Lions digital team to provide a strong and scalable foundation upon which to unearth the digital gems of past tours to a level never seen before, while also providing passionate Lions fans the opportunity to leave an indelible mark on future tours. Your contributions to the media will add immense value to the media archive generated by the ever-growing Lions tour.”

Shane Whelan

British & Irish Lions Director of Communication, Media and Digital Media, Shane Whelan, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with PT SportSuite, with whom we have worked closely over the past few months. The digital archive is a fantastic addition and allows us to be more efficient in terms of storing key digital assets.”

We look forward to maximizing the broad offering of fan engagement features PT boasts in the coming months: Shane Whelan, Director of Communications, Media and Digital Media, B&I Lions.

British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT SportSuite
British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT SportSuite

“Additionally, we have already seen the benefits of the video platform in terms of our new website and recently launched application. We look forward to maximizing the broad offering of fan engagement features PT boasts over the coming months.”

PT SportSuite transforms sports organizations into digital media powerhouses.

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British and Irish Lions release the XV fans want to be picked as Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric miss out

Fans have been voting on the Lions side they would like to see take on South Africa next summer and there are only two Welshmen given the nod

The British and Irish Lions have released the line-up fans want to see as things stand – with just two Welsh players making the grade.

The Lions, once again under the leadership of former Wales coach Warren Gatland, is set to tour South Africa next summer, and the speculation over who will earn their place on the plane has predictably already begun.

Wales haven’t had a good 2020, with last weekend’s victory over Georgia halting a run of six consecutive Test defeats.

British and Irish Lions release the XV fans want to be picked as Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric miss out
British and Irish Lions release the XV fans want to be picked as Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric miss out

Whether such poor form will harm the chances of the country’s stars from earning a place in Gatland’s squad remains to be seen, but the fans believe there’s little room for Welsh representation at this stage.

Releasing the overall XV voted on by fans through the Lion app, only two Wales players make the side, with Liam Williams given the nod at winger, while Jonathan Davies is handed a place at center alongside Manu Tuilagi, who is one of 10 England players included.

Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola, and Sam Underhill are also handed places up front, behind a front row of Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, and Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong.

Stuart Hogg is Scotland’s one and only representative at full-back, with Jonny May on the wing.

Owen Farrell is at 10, with Ben Youngs chosen at scrum-half.

There is some way to go before Gatland makes up his mind, but the consensus at the moment is that a large English contingent will be required next summer.

British and Irish Lions release the XV fans want to be picked as Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric miss out
British and Irish Lions release the XV fans want to be picked as Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric miss out

The Lions will take on Japan in a historic home match at Murrayfield on June 26 before jetting off to South Africa, with the first test in Port Elizabeth on July 7.

The fans’ Lions XV: Stuart Hogg, Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, James Ryan, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola

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Meet the Springbok whose great-grandfather played for the British and Irish Lions

The British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa next year will be a very special one for a member of the 2019 Springboks Rugby World Cup-winning team. Rugby enthusiasts can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

Jesse Kriel revealed on Twitter that his great-grandfather, John Hodgson, played in the famous red jersey against the All Blacks and Wallabies 90 years ago. Hodgson, a loose forward who played his English rugby club for North Northumbria, was involved in the 6-3 win over New Zealand in Dunedin and the 15-10 loss to the All Blacks in Auckland in 1930.

Meet the Springbok whose great-grandfather played for the British and Irish Lions
Meet the Springbok whose great-grandfather played for the British and Irish Lions

In all, the Gosforth-born winger made 15 appearances for the British & Irish Lions, scoring nine points. He also represented England from 1932-1936, winning seven international matches, including the England team that played against the 1932 Springboks in London on January 2, 1932.

“I think it’s very special, really, to know that he played for the Lions,” Kriel told the official Springbok website.

Kriel went on to explain that relatives in England initially wanted to present the Hodgson Lions cap to their grandfather David’s sister Diana, but due to international travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided to send it by post to South Africa, where he arrived safely a few days ago.

“You can imagine how happy she was, proud and a little bit excited when the package was delivered to her,” said Kriel from Tokyo, where she currently plays for the Canon Eagles.

It was a good idea for discussions in the family group chat on WhatsApp.

“I thought it would be nice to share the moment on Twitter, especially with the Lions tour of South Africa on the horizon.”

Jesse Kriel

Kriel’s twin brother Dan previously played with him for the Bulls in Pretoria and while Jesse has made Japan his rugby home, Dan moved to Cape Town, where he played for the Western Province, and later the Lions in Johannesburg, whom he was recently captain.

Meet the Springbok whose great-grandfather played for the British and Irish Lions
Meet the Springbok whose great-grandfather played for the British and Irish Lions

The Kriel twins represented the Junior Springboks at the World Rugby U20 Championship in New Zealand in 2014, where they defeated their New Zealand hosts twice before suffering a close defeat to England U20 in the final at Eden Park.

John McDonald Hodgson was born on February 13, 1909, in Gosforth, England and passed away on April 21, 1970.

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Good news and bad news for rugby fans seeking tickets to British & Irish Lions tour to SA

There is good news and bad news for rugby fans who were left despondent after failing to secure tickets for next year’s British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

Seats were quickly snapped up when they were initially made available but a second batch for matches has become available to South African residents. However‚ those tickets exclude the three Test matches.

Good news and bad news for rugby fans seeking tickets to British & Irish Lions tour to SA
Good news and bad news for rugby fans seeking tickets to British & Irish Lions tour to SA

Tickets to see the British & Irish Lions take on South Africa ‘A’‚ a special Invitational team as well as the Stormers‚ Sharks and Bulls are available for R100. They will go on general sale on a first-come-first-served basis on Wednesday.

SA Rugby said in a statement sales have reopened following the reconciliation of the ballot process‚ which saw the three-Test matches over-subscribed by as much as 574%.

“Those who were unlucky enough to miss out in the ballot have been notified by email of the second chance‚ which will commence at 10h00 on Wednesday‚ November 18 via www.lionstour2021.co.za (SA time)‚” SA Rugby said in a statement.

“We had a tremendous uptake when the ballot opened; with the ‘sold out’ signs going up for the Tests and close to sold out for the provincial matches‚” said Jurie Roux‚ SA Rugby’s chief executive.

“Now that those sales have been confirmed we can put the balance of the tickets into the market to give more people the chance be part of this once-in-a-decade experience.

“Lions tours of South Africa come around less frequently than do Rugby World Cups. They are occasions that make rugby history in the biggest way. This is another chance to be part of the magic.”

Good news and bad news for rugby fans seeking tickets to British & Irish Lions tour to SA

The British & Irish Lions play their opening match against the Stormers in Cape Town on 3 July‚ in the first international rugby match at the Cape Town Stadium.

Before the three Tests‚ the Lions will also visit Port Elizabeth (against a South Africa Invitational team on 7 July)‚ Durban (Sharks on 10 July)‚ Nelspruit (South Africa ‘A’ on 14 July) and Pretoria (Bulls on 17 July).

British Irish Lions Tour tickets are available on our website at very discounted prices. So fans can book British lions Tickets on www.xchangetickets.com.

British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT Sport Suite

PT Sport Suite has been chosen by The British & Irish Lions to provide media services, which empower the Lions’ to tell the story of the 2021 tour to South Africa.

With less than a year until the squad touches down in Cape Town, the partnership will establish a cloud media ecosystem that transforms the way the Lions collect, manage and share their digital media while enabling the collection of media content from players and supporters.

“The partnership will establish a cloud media ecosystem that transforms the way the Lions collect, manage and share their digital media”

British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT Sport Suite
British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT Sport Suite

By transforming the Lions’ digital media workflow, unlocking the power of their digital media archive, and providing video OTT distribution to the tour mobile app and web platform, supporters will enjoy more epic sporting content than ever before.

In a key attraction for the Lions, PT Sport Suite will work with existing partners to ensure unprecedented collaboration between all stakeholders – by providing an official media portal that gives sponsors real-time access to exclusive Lions media.

The biggest stakeholders will always be the ‘sea of red’ Lions supporters. To make South Africa 2021 a truly fan-first affair, supporters will be allowed to make their mark on the team’s rich history by making their own Lions media submissions via a series of fan content challenges.

PT Sport Suite CEO Rich Cherry said: “It’s a great honor for our team to be working with the British & Irish Lions – one of the world’s great sporting brands – and their partners. The epic 97 Lions tour of South Africa is still indelibly printed in my sporting memory, so for PT Sport Suite to be bringing our digital ecosystem to bear is very exciting for our sports-mad team.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Lions to provide a foundation upon which to unearth the digital gems of past tours – Rich Cheery, PT Sport Suite CEO”

“We’re looking forward to working with the Lions digital team to provide a sound and scalable foundation upon which to unearth the digital gems of past tours on a level not seen before while providing passionate Lions fans with the opportunity to make an indelible mark on future tours. Their media contributions will add immense value to the ever-growing Lions archive of tour-generated media.”

British and Irish Lions partner with digital platform innovators PT Sport Suite

British & Irish Lions director of digital, media, and communication Shane Whelan said: “We are delighted to have partnered with PT Sport Suite, who we have worked closely with over the past few months. The digital archive is a fantastic addition and allows us to be more efficient in terms of storage of key digital assets.”

“We look forward to maximizing the broad offering of fan engagement functionality that PT boasts over the next few months – Shane Whelan, B&I Lions director of digital, media and communications”

“Also, we have already seen the benefit of the video platform in terms of our new look website and recently launched app. We look forward to maximizing the broad offering of fan engagement functionality that PT boasts over the next few months.”

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Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad

Warren Gatland has always sought the white heat of the Six Nations decision-makers when it comes to finalizing outstanding picks for the British and Irish Lions squads. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

The most famous example of this was Wales’ victory over England in Cardiff in 2013. By winning the title, Wales not only denied England a Grand Slam, but the form of their 30-3 victory solved a number of key problems. Selection for Gatland before the Australian tour.

“It’s a situation where you want to see players under pressure, and that’s what we’re going to face in Australia,” Gatland said before the game.

Alex Cuthbert and Justin Tipuric were two of several Welsh players chosen for the tour as a result, while Chris Robshaw was the highest-profile of the English contingent who would miss it.

Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad
Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad

Four years later, there was an equally shocking climax for the championship, when Ireland defeated a team from England pursuing a second successive Grand Slam in Dublin. Peter O’Mahony, who had only reached the starting XV when Jamie Heaslip retired with a back injury in the warm-up, Iain Henderson and CJ Stander won the selection after the 13-9 win, with O’Mahony moving on to be captain. The Lions in the first Test against the All Blacks.

Next year’s Six Nations will undoubtedly prove equally conclusive for several players when Gatland finalizes his team for the South African tour. And yet a closer look at his picks for the last two tours, and the previous tour of South Africa in 2009, when he had a key role as strikers coach, shows that this fall’s internationals will also likely have significant influence.

It was a sweeping debut for Andrew Powell against South Africa in November 2008 that made Cardiff No. 8 stands out and caught the attention of Gatland, and he became a colorful and popular member of the South African tour. Ugo Monye and Riki Flutey also debuted for England that fall, with Monye starting Test 1 against the Springboks and Flutey played a key role in Test’s third victory in Johannesburg.

Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad
Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad

England’s impressive victory over the All Blacks four years later had a similar impact for Tom Youngs, who had made his debut that fall, and Geoff Parling, who was in his first year of international rugby. Youngs started the first two Tests, Parling the second and third, as the series was won 2-1.

The fall of 2016 was even more shocking, with Tadhg Furlong launching onto the world stage as an outstanding hard-headed mainstay after just a handful of starts when Ireland defeated New Zealand and Australia, prompting influential commentators to link him to the Lions selection.

England was the main beneficiary this time, however, when Ben Te’o and Elliot Daly debuted that fall and played for the Lions Test team.

Kyle Sinckler also got into Gatland’s considerations after making his substitute debut for England that fall in victories over South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia and made the test team for all three games against the All Blacks.

Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad
Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad

Jamie George also did enough off the bench to convince Gatland to pick him ahead of Dylan Hartley as one of three hookers and he finished as the test hooker. Which brings us to the start of the inaugural Fall Nations Cup, which begins on Friday night with Ireland entertaining Wales in Dublin. Will the opportunity call again during the next month?

It could be argued that the absence of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina due to the Covid-19 pandemic will have reduced the competitive intensity that players are exposed to.

And yet the staging of what is effectively a Six Nations-plus tournament could also be seen as a glorious month-long test of the Lions, providing Gatland with valuable information and data on how his “likely”, “possible” and “bolters” match in head-to-head context.

Gatland will undoubtedly use the Six Nations performances next year as the ultimate decider, but never before has a Lions coach had the luxury of scrutinizing so many internationals among local unions in the same season, and this fall too. There is a competitive advantage, with a cup at stake for the first time.

Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad
Makeshift series could be critical to shaping the British Lions squad

The evolution of the respective teams in the year after the World Cup brings an additional advantage to Gatland. Each team is already in the process of bleeding new faces, but this fall they will fight not with their Southern Hemisphere counterparts but directly with potential rivals for the Lions team.

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Five big names who WON’T be in the British Lions squad in 2021

Head coach Warren Gatland has revealed he will name the smallest touring party ever assembled for a British & Irish Lions tour in 2021

Gatz took 41 players on the last tour but has revealed the much smaller group next year.

Therefore, the squad who jets off to South Africa next July is sure to leave a few big names behind.

Here, RUCK selects five huge names who we think could very well be the unlucky ones to miss out on selection.

Jonathan Davies (Wales)

Jonathan Davies (Wales)
Jonathan Davies (Wales)

Lads, it’s impossible to deny the center was phenomenal four years ago in New Zealand and he was deservedly the man of the series – but when was the last time he honestly had a decent game? Under Wayne Pivac, the 30-year-old has made five underwhelming appearances with an average score of 5/10 from the player rating section The Rugby Paper during this period. We can pretend he’s the same player all we want, but it’s simply not true.

Jonny May (England)

Jonny May (England)

Might be being a bit brutal here, but May peaked last year and hasn’t been at his try-scoring best for a while now. Failed to score for Gloucester after rejoining them from Gloucester in July with his barren run stretching into his last two internationals. The speedster has now failed to cross the whitewash in his last nine hours of play. This would be unfortunate, but his badly timed dip in form could cost him a place on the Lions tour.

Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

Another Welshman who started four years ago, but injuries have begun taking their toll on the powerhouse. He’s recently returned to the international fold but looks a shadow of his former self. CJ Stander, Billy Vunipola, Caelan Doris represent significant competition for a place in the squad.

Finn Russell (Scotland)

Finn Russell (Scotland)

On paper, he’s possibly the most talented player the British Isles has to offer. However, let’s be frank, the Scots’ flair and unpredictability are not what Gatland looks for In a number 10. Against South Africa, he’ll want a playmaker that looks after the ball, which just isn’t Russell, who conceded five turnovers for Racing in the recent Champions Cup final. You can already imagine the outcry come June when Dan Biggar or George Ford are called up ahead of him

Hamish Watson (Scotland)

Hamish Watson (Scotland)
Hamish Watson (Scotland)

This is just sad. Nobody would complain about the back-rower making the squad, but let’s assume Gatland only going to select two open sides. There is a lot of competition with Justin Tipuric, Sam Underhill, Jack Willis, and Josh van der Flier battling out for those places. When it comes down to marginal picks, the Scots almost always miss out.

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Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut

The opening weekend of the inaugural Fall Nations Cup featured a host of international matches, lots of attempts, and no shortage of drama. Ireland kicked off the show with an impressive win against Wales on Friday night before Scotland continued their winning streak with a hard-won victory over Italy. Rugby enthusiasts can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

A physical battle between England and Georgia concluded the first round at Twickenham, with the reigning Six Nations champions showing their power to secure extra points success. And with the ticking of the clock towards the 2021 Tour to South Africa, there were a number of individual performances that would certainly have piqued Warren Gatland’s interest.

Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut
Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut

GEORGE TREBLE DOWNS GEORGIA

It was a brutal physique that dominated the day when England proved they were more than a match for Georgia’s heavyweight group, with the hosts prevailing 40-0 on their return home. Flanker Jack Willis marked his debut with an attempt to get the score going for the hosts, who had not played at home since their Six Nations victory against Wales in March.

Then it was time for the Jamie George show, as the 2017 British and Irish Lions hooker benefited from powerful mauls to crash over the cover-up twice in nearly identical moves. Two fellow Lions also combined for the bonus point trial at the peak of the break, with Jonathan Joseph breaking in midfield before finding Elliot Daly to put England 26-0 up.

George completed his hat-trick becoming the first English hooker to hit a test triple after the interval with another replica of his first two scores, while Dan Robson dived to bring in England’s sixth, with Owen Farrell converting five of those.

Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut
Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut

And George was happy to keep his own contribution low-key, saying, “It was a great team performance. What I liked the most was that when it came to forwards, we got on the plate.”

SCOTLAND KEEP THE MOMENTUM

Scotland posted their fifth straight win by beating Italy 28-17 in Florence, but Gregor Townsend’s men didn’t have it all their way in their Fall Nations Cup arc. The Azzurri were ready for the game from the first whistle and Paolo Garbisi’s booty together with Matteo Minozzi’s first-half try ensured the hosts won 11-7 at half-time.

Duhan van der Merwe’s impressive try kept the visitors in touch, but Garbisi extended Italy’s lead after the restart with another penalty before Zander Fagerson try tied the score. Garbisi struck again to reestablish Italy’s lead as momentum continued to waver before the turning point in the game arrived with just under 15 minutes to play.

Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut
Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut

Scotland put faith in their pack and parried a shot on goal, resulting in a lineout maul that eventually gave Scott Cummings a chance to improve. Duncan Weir’s third successful conversion put the visitors four ahead, but they weren’t finished yet, crossing through George Turner again for a valuable extra point attempt.

IRELAND RAIN IN THE JONES PARADE

It was a great night for two greats from the Lions and Wales on Friday, as Alun Wyn Jones made it up 150 caps and George North came off the bench for his 100th international appearance. But his milestones were among the only highlights for Wayne Pivac’s team, which was beaten for the sixth straight loss to Ireland in their final Fall Nations Cup game.

The first tournament saw Andy Farrell’s men open a 16-6 lead at halftime, with Quinn Roux’s try, Johnny Sexton’s eight points and a Billy Burns penalty doing the damage. Leigh Halfpenny took two penalties in the first half and added another after the break to keep Wales in touch, but his efforts were in vain when Ireland pulled away in the final stages.

Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut
Hat-Trick Hero George and Lowe Stars on Debut

Burns scored another penalty before Conor Murray took over the kicking duties and nailed another couple of attempts, adding a conversion later after James Lowe crossed on his debut. Lowe looked at home on the international stage when he won his first international match, while Jamison Gibson-Park and Caelan Doris also impressed on an unforgettable night for Farrell and his team.

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Maybe Lions next: James Lowe tipped for British Lions call-up following Ireland debut

It’s been three years in the making, but New Zealand-born winger James Lowe has finally impressively taken the international stage, scoring a try on his debut for Ireland. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

Lowe, named to start on the left-wing, scored a first test trial in the 81st minute of his team’s 32-9 victory over Wales in the opening match of the Autumn Nations Cup in Dublin.

Maybe Lions next: James Lowe tipped for British Lions call-up following Ireland debut
Maybe Lions next: James Lowe tipped for British Lions call-up following Ireland debut

The 28-year-old did little harm to his actions when he made the move to test rugby, earning praise from various quarters and a 7/10 rating in RugbyPass player ratings for his efforts at Aviva Stadium. His appearance in the emerald green jersey culminates a 36-month journey he undertook to be eligible for Ireland after moving to his adopted nation from New Zealand to play for Leinster in 2017.

James Lowe

Lowe has thrived since his transfer from the Chiefs to the Irish club giants, scoring 33 attempts in 49 outings as he played a key role in the success of PRO14 and Champions Cup in recent seasons. An equally fruitful period in the Irish national team appears to be ahead for the former Maori All Blacks representative, with fans and experts on Twitter voicing their thoughts on Lowe’s first foray into international rugby.

Some users were bold in their evaluations of Lowe’s performance, even going so far as to suggest that the sprinter could be in line for a British and Irish Lions call-up for their 2021 South Africa tour. A friend of mine in Nelson told me that James Lowe has now scored in his Tasman debut, the Chiefs, New Zealand M?ori, Leinster and Ireland. Maybe the Lions are next?

Maybe Lions next: James Lowe tipped for British Lions call-up following Ireland debut
Maybe Lions next: James Lowe tipped for British Lions call-up following Ireland debut

Warren Gatland

If Lions boss Warren Gatland selected him on next year’s squad, he would join an exclusive group of players who played both for and against the Lions. Having appeared for the Maori All Blacks in their 32-10 loss to the Lions three years ago, it would not be unattainable for Lowe to join Riki Flutey, James Hook, Jared Payne and Elliot Daly in accomplishing such a feat.

With the remainder of the Fall Nations Cup, a Six Nations campaign, and the European club season still to play between now and that team, there’s plenty of time for Lowe to make his case for a Republic tour in eight months. Elsewhere, those with ties to Kiwi, however, were disappointed by New Zealand’s profligacy in allowing the Nelson-born product to escape the clutches of the All Blacks.

Some users even used Lowe’s debut to criticize Ireland’s selection policy that allows the New Zealander to play for the country but prevents French star Simon Zebo from adding to his 35 international matches.

Maybe Lions next: James Lowe tipped for British Lions call-up following Ireland debut
Maybe Lions next: James Lowe tipped for British Lions call-up following Ireland debut

Others were simply happy to see Lowe in an Irish jersey for the first time and were excited about what the future held for the prolific shot scorer. Lowe’s next chance to play for Ireland will come next Saturday when Andy Farrell’s team travels to London to face England at Twickenham in the second round of the Fall Nations Cup.

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