An impressive spectacle awaits fans in 2021 when the British & Irish Lions head to South Africa for their quadrennial tour, and former Springbok flank Francois Louw acknowledges that tourists will have a point to prove against the men in green and gold.
With long-time Warren Gatland leading the Lions charge into the Republic next year, tourists are sure to be a dangerous prospect as they set out to repeat the famous series victories of 1997 and 1974. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
Gatland is no stranger to Louw, who played Wales seven times in his Springbok career, each time with the experienced New Zealand coach at the helm of the Red Dragons. After Wales beat the Boks for the first time in 1999, it took them another 15 years for their second win over South Africa in 2014.
Since then and including that game, where Jean de Villiers seriously injured his knee in Cardiff, Wales’ record against the Boks is four wins in six games played in Cardiff, Washington DC, London and Tokyo. His only two losses were in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals and the 2019 semi-final.
Louw played a pivotal role in the RWC playoff last year, forcing a penalty that eventually led to Handré Pollard kicking the match-winning triple in a very close match. And he believes that next year’s British & Irish Lions tour will again be a close competition.
“I think we can look forward to an exciting campaign next year and the Lions will want to prove a point,” said Louw, who recently retired from rugby in an interview with the SA Rugby Podcast.
I also think Warren Gatland will want to prove a point against South Africa, we are the reigning world champions, and that will probably add some pressure to justify that title.
“The Lions will bring a lot of history and heritage. Unfortunately, I missed playing them in 2009 for Western Province, which I wish I had done, but that’s how things turned out for me.”
Louw believes that the British & Irish Lions will travel to South Africa with a point to prove and aim to shut out the Springboks in the three-round series, but having been involved with Bok’s team last year and knowing the players, they are not knows. I think it will happen.
“It is an exciting prospect for any British or Irish player to represent their country at the top. But with the Lions you add a little extra step: you are considered the best,” said Louw, who played rugby in England with Bath for the past decade.
British Lions and South Africa
It’s one thing to be good enough to play in your country, but you are now considered good enough to play for a team made up of players from four countries. It’s a level and a great motivation for the guys here, they all want to play for the Lions and hope to be selected to play in a red jersey test and I’m sure they will enjoy the opportunity to play in the South Africa.
Obviously a large part of the team is usually made up of English players and with us we beat them in the final of the World Cup last year, I think they will have a point to prove. Those players become a different team when they wear the Lions jersey.
“They are a good team and always have been, but it is a difficult tour with some matches during the week so they will probably go to South Africa with almost two full teams. Having the next tour in South Africa is also exciting for fans. They are really looking forward to going to South Africa and I think it has the potential to be an incredible show.”
The first eight podcasts also available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts feature Rassie Erasmus; Branco du Preez, Aled Walters and Jacques Nienaber; Cheslin Kolbe and Handre Pollard; Bongi Mbonambi, Malcolm Marx and Schalk Brits; Joel Stransky; Jurie Roux; Mark Andrews; and Francois Pienaar, and can be accessed here.
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