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British Lions lock horns with Springboks

The Rolls Royce of the test rugby series only takes place every 12 years in South Africa. In 2021, the British and Irish Lions will face the current 2019 Rugby World Cup winners, the Springboks. So, for any rugby player in the country, this is the team you want to be selected for, to play against old rivals from the northern hemisphere, the British & Irish Lions team.

The national beer brand, Castle Lager, will be the official sponsor of the British & Irish Lions 2021 Tour of South Africa. As a brand woven into the South African sports fabric, Castle Lager is an appropriate starting partner for a tour that will see the best of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland play against the Springboks. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

British Lions lock horns with Springboks
British Lions lock horns with Springboks

“We are very proud to become the Official Title Partner of such a great sporting event on the Lions Tour,” said Castle Lager Brand Director Kudzi Mathabire.

“Castle Lager has an established history of improving the sporting events with which it is associated, and we look forward to working with the Lions and SA Rugby to create a truly memorable Series.”

Celebrating 125 years, the brand has been the embodiment of endurance and unity, uniting people around two of the nation’s favorite pastimes, sports and braai. This makes Castle Lager the perfect partner for the Lions Series.

The Springboks have not played a single test match since they became world champions and instead the players who will be selected for the Northern Hemisphere team will be in good shape as they are already playing test rugby.

British Lions lock horns with Springboks
British Lions lock horns with Springboks

As part of the agreement, Castle Lager will receive a wide range of rights within the stadiums, including ticket sales, hospitality, pouring rights, as well as team branding rights and access to players and coaches from Springbok and Lions. The deal also includes a newly created Castle Lager brand Tour series logo for use across a wide range of digital social media, marketing and streaming platforms.

The announcement stems from the massive interest in the Castle Lager Lions Series from South African rugby fans. There have been more than 324,000 ticket requests since the ballot was opened just nine weeks ago, and tickets for the three-test matches have been oversubscribed.

Ben Calveley

“Castle Lager has extensive experience sponsoring rugby, and we are delighted that they have made such an important commitment to support the Tour,” said Ben Calveley, managing director of the British and Irish Lions.

British Lions lock horns with Springboks
British Lions lock horns with Springboks

The new partnership with Castle Lager reaffirms the brand’s commitment to promoting the sport in South Africa through sponsorship, in particular SA Rugby and the Springboks, with whom it has been associated since 1997.

British and Irish Lions

The Castle Lager Lions series kicks off July 3 and sees the Lions visit some of the most impressive stadiums in world sport. The Lions face DHL Stormers in Cape Town in Game 1. Three weeks later, the “Calabash” at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, a venue that previously hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, will host the first round.

The second test follows on July 31 at the Cape Town Stadium, before tourists return to Gauteng for the final test on August 7 at Emirates Airline Park, the historic venue for the Rugby World Cup final. 1995. The British Lions have toured South Africa 13 times before, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. During that time, the Lions won series of four rounds and lost eight with a draw.

British Lions lock horns with Springboks
British Lions lock horns with Springboks

Their overall record against the Springboks is: they played 46, won 17, lost 23 and drew six.

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South Africa Rugby eyes British lions 2021 home Tests

South Africa Rugby president Mark Alexander has confirmed they are in discussion with World Rugby to gain permission to arrange at least three Tests before the Boks play the Lions next year. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

The Springboks are scheduled to play a three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions between 24 July and 7 August next year.

South Africa Rugby eyes British lions 2021 home Tests
South Africa Rugby eyes British lions 2021 home Tests

However, as it stands, the world champions are set to head into the series without any international action since the 2019 World Cup final. This after the Covid-19 pandemic led to the Boks not playing any games in 2020.

But Alexander says that SA Rugby is looking into the possibility of organizing a few Tests in preparation for the Lions series.

‘We are looking at that, we are busy with that,’ he said. ‘We are looking at having a couple of games. We will confirm that once we have confirmed with World Rugby that we can have games.

‘You know, we can’t just organize a game with another country. We have to get permission from World Rugby and we are seeking permission to have at least three or four games before we play the series.’

South Africa Rugby eyes British lions 2021 home Tests

Alexander added that SA Rugby’s confident it’ll be granted permission because the 2021 rugby calendar is still under construction and a long way from being finalized.

‘The calendar is not finalized; we have only finalized the rugby calendar for this year. Next year’s calendar is still under discussion. One thing that is for sure is that it is still in July that we will be playing the British & Irish Lions series. That is confirmed. That is the only one confirmed for next year. World Rugby is still in discussion as to what is going to happen with the global calendar.

‘The way things are looking now. I think the calendar will remain the same for next year as well and we will probably look at changing the calendar in 2022 – to accommodate the Pro Rugby League, the Currie Cup, Inbound and Outbound Tours, and the Rugby Championship – but it is under discussion.’

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British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers

JOHANNESBURG – The British and Lions Tour holds a special place in the heart of world rugby it harkens back to what the game was and reveals what it has become and encompasses the glory, the camaraderie and fraternity that separates the sport from all others. Rugby enthusiasts can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

For many players, honored enough to play against the combined might of the four home nations, it is the nadir of their careers, whether it be at provincial or Test level. For many supporters, it is a 12-year long wait to build new memories and remember fondly the year that the Lions returned to once again wrestle pride and supremacy away from the Springboks.

British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers
British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers

That was the decree of Springbok legend John Smit on Thursday when the series sponsor was revealed to be Castle Lager for next year’s tour at FNB Stadium, which will host the first Test between the two combatants on July 24 next year.

Said the former captain of the Boks, who led the national team in the hardcore 2009 series: “One of the best experiences and the best stories I have ever told, was my experience playing for the Sharks against the British and Irish Lions in Durban.”

I think it was my second first-class game, I was 19-years-old, Smit continued and to be able to go on 12 years later and to experience it full on was a privilege. The youngsters who get that opportunity, even if I ever only played the Lions in 97, I would have held onto that thing. I still have that jersey.

“It is just something that you can’t mimic anywhere else and that experience is what will get the youngsters next year super hungry to fight for that green and gold jersey and, hopefully, hold onto it.”

British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers
British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers

It was a sentiment shared by fellow Bok legend Beast Mtwarira and 2019 World Rugby player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit, who will no doubt be involved in 2021. Beast was a newfangled Springbok in 2009, having made his debut for the Boks a year earlier against Wales and the 2019 World Cup winner recalled his Lions experience fondly with a smile and a chuckle.

“I think it is surreal playing against the Lions, it certainly was for me to be a part of that 2000 team, said Beast in his trademark baritone. It comes around every 12 years, so not a lot of players get the opportunity to play against the Lions.”

“The Lions tour was massive for me. To rub shoulders with the likes of Juan Smith and Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, guys who had won the World Cup in 2007, was just a huge honor. The atmosphere at a Lions game is just incredible, it is nothing like you have ever seen.”

British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers
British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers

“I was raring to go with the energy and excitement, Beast continued later of the 2009 Test series. My advice to the young guys would be, a part of it is to just enjoy the occasion, take it for what it is, because it is a huge honor. Guys that have won the world cup, haven’t had the chance to face the Lions, so you have to embrace it for what it is and just go out there and play your best rugby.”

For PSTD, if he is fit and remains so, it will be another feather in the 28-year-old’s cap. The 2019 World Cup winner was 17-years-old when John Smit and Co rectified the disastrous defeat of 1997 12 years later, and when asked about his feelings around the upcoming tour, it sparked a joyous memory of sibling rivalry and love.

All three games, me and my parents and my brothers watched at our house and I always say if you watch a Springbok game at our house, you don’t want to be a supporter there because it is just crazy there. Everything gets duplicated there.

British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers
British & Irish Lions tour is something surreal for both players and followers

“For instance, I remember when Heinrich Brussow in 2009 just picked up one of the players as a bag of potatoes and threw him off the field and then, the same thing happened in our living room. So, after the game, we always went to play and always dreamt about playing for the Boks and against the Lions.”

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Castle Lager named as title partner of British lions 2021 series

South Africa Rugby and the British & Irish Lions have announced that Castle Lager has agreed to become the official title partner of the 2021 Tour of South Africa.

The Castle Lager Lions Series kicks off on Saturday, 3 July 2021 with the Lions visiting some of the most impressive stadiums in world sport, culminating in three Test matches against Rugby World Cup-champions the Springboks. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

The announcement comes in the wake of the massive interest in the Castle Lager Lions Series from South African rugby supporters. More than 324,000 applications for tickets were made, with tickets for the three-Test matches being massively oversubscribed.

Castle Lager named as title partner of   British lions 2021 series
Castle Lager named as title partner of British lions 2021 series

 ‘This represents a hat-trick for our friends at South African Breweries,’ SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said. ‘They have now been the series partner for all three British & Irish Lions tours to South Africa in the professional era: first under the Lion brand in 1997 and now with Castle Lager for the 2009 and 2021 tours.

‘It’s a tribute both to their enduring support for South African rugby but also to the appeal of the sport and a tour by the British & Irish Lions.

‘The first two professional series to South Africa were epic events that entranced the rugby nation. I am sure next year’s edition will be the same.’

Today’s announcement coincides with the launch of the Castle Lions Series dedicated website, www.lionsseries.com, and social channels, where rugby supporters can keep up to date with all the latest Tour news, read and watch exclusive content, as well as enter competitions to win merchandise.

The Castle Lager Lions Series begins on Saturday, 3 July 2021 when the Lions face the Stormers in Cape Town. Three weeks later the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg will host the first Test – a venue that previously hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup Final.

The second Test follows on Saturday, 31 July at the Cape Town Stadium – the first Lions Test in the Mother City since 1997 – before the British and Irish tourists return to Gauteng for the final Test on Saturday, 7 August at Emirates Airline Park, the storied venue of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

The Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. In that time, the Lions have won four-Test series, lost eight with one drawn. Their overall record against the Springboks is played 46, won 17, lost 23, and drawn six.

Castle Lager named as title partner of British lions 2021 series

As part of the agreement, Castle Lager will receive a comprehensive range of in-stadia rights, including ticketing, hospitality, and pouring, as well as kit-branding rights, and access to Springbok and Lions players and coaches. The deal also brings a newly created, Castle Lager-branded tour series logo for use across a wide range of broadcasting, merchandising, digital, and social media platforms.

Castle Lager Lions Series logo explained:

  • The four elements at the top of the symbol represent the four home unions that make up the British & Irish Lions, set above a single element to represent South Africa.
  • The two elements resolve into a single symbol – a dynamic perspective of a rugby ball.
  • The combined colors from the flag of South Africa and Lion’s red flow through the elements as a symbol of unity Negative space between the four top elements form an abstract shape of a person wrapping their arms around the symbol, representing friendship and community.

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Warren Gatland says it would be difficult for Howley to join the British Lions coaching staff

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said it would be a little difficult to have Rob Howley on his coaching staff due to questions his former assistant might face following a ban for violating betting rules. Rugby enthusiasts can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

Warren Gatland says it would be difficult for Howley to join the British Lions coaching staff
Warren Gatland says it would be difficult for Howley to join the British Lions coaching staff

Howley was suspended for 18 months, with a nine-month suspension and the sanction dropped back to September 16, the day he was sent home from the Wales Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan last year. Since then, he has been appointed assistant coach of Canada. Former Wales coach Gatland, who worked with Howley on the Lions’ previous two tours, is gearing up for his tour of world champions South Africa next year.

“The last thing you want is for people to bring up the past and deviate from what their preparation and focus is for a Lions tour,” Gatland told reporters when asked if Howley would be in the running for a Market Stall.

“That makes it a bit difficult because it’s the last thing me and someone like Rob would want to happen. Gatland said, however, that he was “delighted” with Howley in naming him to Canada. He is an outstanding coach, he understands the mistakes he has made and I hope he does really well.”

Warren Gatland says it would be difficult for Howley to join the British Lions coaching staff
Warren Gatland says it would be difficult for Howley to join the British Lions coaching staff

The Lions will face Japan in Edinburgh on June 26, 2021, before playing three tryouts and five warm-up games on the tour of South Africa that is scheduled to run from July 3 to August 7.

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British Lions tour: Jones breaks record and trio cap milestones with scores

Super Saturday delivered on its promise of an exhilarating conclusion to the Six Nations, with British & Irish Lions stars involved throughout.

After 2018 Grand Slam champions Ireland had seen off winless Italy 50-17 on the Championship’s return last weekend, Andy Farrell’s men headed into the final round of games with their destiny in their own hands. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

While waiting for their decisive fixture against France in Paris, Ireland saw Scotland stun defending Grand Slam winners Wales 14-10 in Llanelli, before Eddie Jones’ England turned up the heat on the Emerald Isle with a bonus-point 34-5 triumph in Rome.

And ultimately the trophy was handed to the Red Rose for the first time since 2017, with the men in green falling 35-27 to an impressive Les Bleus side, whose victory saw them miss out on a first title for a decade on points difference.

Among the ranging fortunes for the plethora of Lions stars on show throughout the three tantalizing showdowns, there were records broken, milestone moments, and individual pieces of brilliance to savor.

AWJ becomes most-capped international 

British Lions tour: Jones breaks record and trio cap milestones with scores
British Lions tour: Jones breaks record and trio cap milestones with scores

Wales’ hopes of ending a turgid campaign came unstuck as they were edged by Gregor Townsend’s Scotland at Parc y Scarlets  the visitors’ first win on Welsh soil since 2002.

Finn Russell who featured as part of the squad on the Lions’ 2017 Tour to New Zealand – kicked the visitors in front on his return at fly-half, but Wales prop Rhys Carre punished a Scotland mistake at their lineout to help his team to a slender 7-6 lead at half-time.

The hosts added three more points to their tally after the break thanks to the boot of four-time Lions capped Leigh Halfpenny, but a try from replacement hooker Stuart McInally and a last-gasp penalty from skipper Stuart Hogg a veteran of two Lions Tours handed Scotland the spoils.

Despite enduring their fourth successive defeat of the Championship there was some cause for celebration in the Welsh camp as captain Alun Wyn Jones played his 140th game for Wales, together with his nine Lions appearances making him rugby’s most-capped international ahead of Richie McCaw.

Youngs at the double on century appearance 

England knew they could pile all the pressure on Ireland’s shoulders with a bonus-point win in Italy, and Ben Youngs got the away side off to a flying start with a fifth-minute score on his 100th appearance for his country.

British Lions tour: Jones breaks record and trio cap milestones with scores
British Lions tour: Jones breaks record and trio cap milestones with scores

The 2013 Lion made it a night to remember with England’s second try moments into the second half after Jake Polledri had got Italy on the board in the 18th minute when Carlo Canna reacted quickest to Kyle Sinckler’s handling error and fed the Gloucester No.8 to dot down.

Jamie George a 2017 Tour star and he making his 50th England appearance powered over for England’s third after Lions teammate Maro Itoje claimed the ball in a lineout to spearhead the fruitful maul.

Tom Curry notched the all-important bonus-point score after exposing a mistake in the Italian defensive line and skipping down the left flank before Henry Slade crossed to up England’s point’s difference late on.

Ireland lose but Healy makes history 

Going into the Stade de France requiring a seven-point win to clinch the title, Ireland were dealt an early blow when France’s Antoine Dupont crossed in the seventh minute, although full-back Anthony Bouthier was soon sent to the sin-bin for deliberately knocking Johnny Sexton’s grubber kick into touch.

British Lions tour: Jones breaks record and trio cap milestones with scores
British Lions tour: Jones breaks record and trio cap milestones with scores

The away side duly responded and Cian Healy – a member of the 2013 Tour squad – bulldozed over on his 100th Test appearance, before the captain and six-time Test Lion Sexton kicked Ireland in front.

But France was soon awarded a penalty try when Caelan Doris tackled Francois Cros off the ball, and they stretched their lead at the start of the second half through a Romain Ntamack try.

Robbie Henshaw and Jacob Stockdale both went over in between Virimi Vakatawa’s bonus-point score for the hosts, but it wasn’t enough to topple Fabien Galthié’s charges that leapfrogged Ireland in the overall standings to finish second.

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The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone

Vodafone UK & Ireland has launched a new state-of-the-art app featuring the British and Irish Lions that will allow rugby fans for the first time to ‘become a Lion’, virtually, and fully immerse themselves in the action of the Lions as the account regressive for next year’s Tour. Rugby enthusiasts can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

The new official Lions app is available for download now. It will offer a variety of interactive features including the “Digital Lions,” a fully animated virtual avatar tool developed with the same technology seen in Fortnite and FIFA. A first for rugby, the “Digital Lions” feature will allow fans to interact with Lions players past and present as well as other fans.

The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone
The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone

Fan-created custom “Digital Lions” avatars will be the first to wear the new British and Irish Lions jersey when it is revealed and fans will be able to share their avatars on social media and messaging platforms.

They can also bring their avatar to life in 3D augmented reality and choose from a variety of animation options. In the coming weeks, fans will also discover new ways to personalize their “Digital Lion”. This will include the ability to base your avatar on some traditional player positions, for example, prop, second row, or scrum-half.

The app will be the ultimate companion for any rugby fan on the long-awaited Tour 2021 as it will deliver the latest news, fixtures, ticket deals, products and interactive fan experiences all in one place. Other features include the “Selector XV”. This allows users to choose the starting lineup that they can share on social media and messaging platforms while comparing their dream team with their friends and other fans.

The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone
The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone

As the excitement of the Tour increases, new features will be added to the app such as the ability to pose with former legendary Lions players in AR augmented reality, the ability for fans to use their avatar to play games in the app, as well as the opportunity to unlock tickets and merchandise.

Next year, when the games are played, the ambition is for the app to act as an augmented reality portal for fans to get a first-person view of all the action in South Africa, from the comfort of their own home. The app’s “Match Center” feature will provide live updates on all Lions news from information about the games being played to scores, scorers, teams and match statistics.

Max Taylor

Max Taylor, Vodafone UK Chief Commercial Officer, said: We want to give fans the most immersive Lions experience possible. Our new app will be the ultimate in digital self-expression. A fan’s “Digital Lion” will become their companion during the preparation of the Tour and the Tour itself, bringing them closer to the action and other fans than ever before.

The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone
The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone

The app has everything you would expect and more, from the latest news, matches, tickets, contests, and merchandise, to player stats, fan polls, and contests. Fans can choose their “dream team” and share it on social media. They can participate in games within the app.

So they can get a first-person view of the action in South Africa through the eyes of their avatar. They can also keep up to date with our live “Match Center” so they never miss a moment. We have designed the official app of the British and Irish Lions to unite pride like never before.

Ben Calveley

Ben Calveley, Managing Director of British & Irish Lions said: As the countdown to next year’s Tour continues, we are excited to launch the official Lions app together with our partners Vodafone.

This highly innovative app featuring state-of-the-art fan engagement functionality such as the ‘Digital Lion’ and ‘XV Selector’ will further complement our digital channels allowing fans to engage with the Lions in ways new and exciting.

The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone
The British and Irish Lions official tour app unveiled by Vodafone

We have already seen record engagement figures on our social media channels this year. We look forward to continuing to deliver best-in-class digital content to Lions fans around the world.

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Difficult for Rob Howley to be British Lions coach – Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland admits it will be difficult to include Rob Howley in his British and Irish Lions coaching team after his former Wales assistant’s suspension for betting breaches.

Howley was banned for 18 months nine of them suspended in 2019 for betting on matches, including Wales games. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

He left Wales’ 2019 World Cup campaign as a result and returned to rugby last month as Canada assistant coach.

Difficult for Rob Howley to be British Lions coach - Warren Gatland
Difficult for Rob Howley to be British Lions coach – Warren Gatland

“I’m delighted for him he’s been appointed with Canada,” said Gatland.

“We were great mates and I’ve got a huge amount of respect for him as a coach.

“The last thing you want is people bringing up the past and taking away from what your preparation and focus is for a Lions tour.

“That makes it a little bit difficult because it’s the last thing I and someone like Rob would want to have happen.”

As well as being Gatland’s attack coach throughout his 12 years as Wales boss, Howley also fulfilled that role on the past two Lions tours.

Gatland was head coach on both occasions – the victorious 2013 tour of Australia and the 2017 drawn series in New Zealand – and the New Zealander will be in charge for next summer’s trip to South Africa.

Howley, who was also attack coach under Sir Ian McGeechan in South Africa in 2009, would have been in a strong position to make a fourth Lions tour as a coach.

However, Gatland’s comments seem to suggest that would now be unlikely for the former Wales scrum-half, who played for the Lions on two tours in 1997 and 2001.

In the wake of his ban from the sport after he had placed 363 bets on 1,163 matches over four years, Howley apologised for the breaches as he “battled demons” in the wake of his sister’s death.

Difficult for Rob Howley to be British Lions coach – Warren Gatland

He had been due to leave his role as Wales assistant coach after the 2019 World Cup and was linked with coaching Italy before the betting breaches were revealed.

Since being eligible to return to rugby, Howley was linked with a return to one of his former clubs, Wasps, before his appointment with Canada, a role he will combine with being a consultant for the Toronto Arrows.

“I think it’s great for him he’s back in the game and he gets a chance to get out of the UK and re-establish himself with Canada until the next World Cup,” Gatland added.

“He’s an outstanding coach, understands the mistakes he’s made, and hopefully he does really well.”

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Warren Gatland fires the British Lions warning to England-based players

British and Irish Lions Coach Warren Gatland has warned players to miss the team’s preparation match against Japan on June 26 that they will be at a disadvantage when he makes his final selection for the world champions South Africa tour. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

The Lions are locked in a battle with Premiership Rugby for the release of players with the final of the competition to be played the same weekend, which falls outside of the World Rugby Regulation 9 period that forces clubs to release. Players.

Gatland has revealed that the Lions are also planning a camp in Wales ahead of the Japan game, which will be important in formulating their draft plans.

Warren Gatland fires the British Lions warning to England-based players
Warren Gatland fires the British Lions warning to England-based players

“It is not 100% final at this time that the players will not be released, there are still some negotiations that will continue between now and then,” Gatland told reporters Wednesday.

But if England has a great Six Nations, it could mean that a third of the players on the Lions team are missing for the Japan game and a camp in Wales last week.

“We want to take the best players on the road, but the reality is that it could affect the national team. If you end up with a 50-50 call to a player, players who may be in camp in Wales and the Japan game could get the go-ahead on someone who is not available until the week before the first game in South Africa.”

Warren Gatland

Gatland has suggested that England’s players should apply for the release of their clubs.

“Hopefully common sense prevails, to go on a Lions tour and the interest it creates in and out of the sport, you can come back as a superstar. Maybe the players need to express their opinion on that, I think it would be quite powerful,” he said.

Warren Gatland fires the British Lions warning to England-based players
Warren Gatland fires the British Lions warning to England-based players

Only two of the 12 top-tier English clubs will participate in the final, but Premiership Rugby has said that none will release players before the Regulation 9 window, including Saracens, who will compete in the Championship. The Lions will play three tryouts and five prep games on the tour that runs from July 3 to August. 7.

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British lions tour: Gatland predicts Boks will be underdone

Warren Gatland says the decision to withdraw the Boks from the Rugby Championship could leave them ‘underdone’ for the incoming British & Irish Lions tour next year.

SA Rugby recently decided against having the Springboks participate in this year’s revised Rugby Championship, which will be held in Australia, and Gatland believes it is a risky call.

‘It could end up being 20 months between their last game and the first Lions Test,’ Gatland told the BBC.

‘So, they may be underdone, and it will be disappointing from my perspective because I won’t get a chance maybe to see them play.’

British lions tour: Gatland predicts Boks will be underdone
British lions tour: Gatland predicts Boks will be underdone

Gatland will lead the Lions for a third time on their tour of South Africa. In a condensed tour, starting on 3 July 2021, the Lions will play three Tests against the Springboks as part of an eight-match schedule.

The 57-year-old New Zealander sympathized with South Africa’s director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus.

‘Those are the kind of the times we are in at the moment. I can understand from Rassie’s point of view, they hadn’t had a lot of domestic rugby, so they felt they were going down to Australia being undercooked and understandably not wanting to expose them.

‘They talked about injury risk, I am not too sure that was the case, but that’s their prerogative and they felt they needed more rugby.

‘But what they are going to do – internally or externally – ahead of the Lions, I am not too sure, so it is a bit of a wait and sees.’

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