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Prop Beast Mtawarira I’m sorry Phil, but I had no choice

Former Springbok prop Beast Mtawarira says it was a huge honor to be a part of the team’s series win over the British & Irish Lions in 2009. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The opening match of the crucial Test series against the Lions in 2009 also turned out to be a contest that unequivocally announced Mtawarira’s arrival on the Test scene.

Prop Beast Mtawarira I’m sorry Phil, but I had no choice
Prop Beast Mtawarira I’m sorry Phil, but I had no choice

‘A 23-year-old Mtawarira was playing in just his 11th Test match for the Springboks but put in a magnificent performance in the scrums against his opposite number and England veteran Phil Vickery, who popped like a champagne cork almost every time he engaged with Mtawarira.’

Which looked back at the 2009 series – the last time the Lions toured South Africa – Mtawarira apologized to Vickery, saying that he was eager to make his mark on the biggest stage of world rugby.

‘Playing against the Lions is probably the next best thing to playing in a World Cup,’ Mtawarira said. ‘It’s such a big occasion and such a huge honor to be a part of.

Prop Beast Mtawarira I’m sorry Phil, but I had no choice

‘At the time when I got picked, I was excited to contribute to the success of the team.

‘I was quite young, I was 22 and I wanted to make my mark in world rugby. I’m sorry for Phil Vickery but I had no choice.’

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Handre Pollard: South Africa fly-half a doubt for British & Irish Lions tour due to ACL injury

British & Irish Lions vs world champions Springboks, plus five warm-up matches between July 3-August 7 2021, 

South Africa fly-half Handre Pollard faces “several months” on the sidelines and could miss the British and Irish Lions tour after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligaments while playing for French Top 14 side Montpellier on Friday. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The 2019 World Cup winner was carried off the field on a stretcher during the 41-17 loss to Racing 92 and scans have now revealed the severity of the injury.

Handre Pollard: South Africa fly-half a doubt for British & Irish Lions tour due to ACL injury
Handre Pollard: South Africa fly-half a doubt for British & Irish Lions tour due to ACL injury

“The club confirms the absence for several months of Handre Pollard, the victim of ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments. We wish him a quick recovery,” Montpellier said in a statement on Monday.

It rules the first-choice Bok fly-half out of the Rugby Championship that is scheduled to be played in Australia in December, and casts doubt over his involvement in the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa that starts next July.

Pollard’s control at fly-half is key to the Boks’ game-plan but his injury will provide his deputy in the team, Elton Jantjies, a chance to stake a claim for the number 10 jersey against the Lions.

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Madness if Boks play in Rugby Champs

Former Springbok captain Wynand Claassen believes South Africa should skip this year’s Rugby Championship and focus on the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour.

While the announcement that the 2020 Rugby Championship would be held in Australia from 7 November to 12 December was made by Sanzaar on Friday morning, it was also confirmed that the Springboks’ participation in the tournament was still to be confirmed, dependent on several factors. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Madness if Boks play in Rugby Champs
Madness if Boks play in Rugby Champs

Claassen says travelling to Australia to compete in the Rugby Championship will not be in the best interest of the Springboks and that SA Rugby should take a stand and withdraw from the competition at least for this year.

‘I honestly believe they should not play in the Championship; it simply doesn’t make any sense to me,’ Claassen told The Citizen.

‘If one thinks that New Zealand and Australia have been playing their domestic rugby for the last two months and our rugby hasn’t even restarted yet, we would definitely be underprepared.

‘What will happen if we again give 50 points away to New Zealand, like what happened in 2016 and 2017 – who will be blamed?

Madness if Boks play in Rugby Champs
Madness if Boks play in Rugby Champs

‘We’ve got more to lose by playing in the Championship. We must remember that we are the World Cup champs, the No 1 ranked team in the world and the Rugby Championship holders,’ he said.

‘One has to understand that because of Covid-19 we haven’t been able to restart our local game, but it is what it is and we just have to move on and forget about the Rugby Championship for this year.

‘SA Rugby must just take a stand and decide what is in the best interests of the Boks and their legacy. Yes, money talks, but it’s not all about money; there are many more factors at play.’

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Du Preez: It’s going to be better than any series before

Legendary Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez believes the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa has all the makings of an iconic series.

On Wednesday, the ticket ballot purchase for the British & Irish Lions eight-match rugby extravaganza in South Africa officially opened. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The ballot will remain open from 10:30am (SA time) on 2 September and run until Wednesday, 23:59pm (SA time) on 16 September, with all who register standing an equal chance of receiving tickets during this two-week period.

Du Preez: It’s going to be better than any series before
Du Preez: It’s going to be better than any series before

Du Preez played an integral role for the Springboks in the historic 2009 series, in which the hosts triumphed 2-1.

In an interview with CLINTON VAN DER BERG for the upcoming SA Rugby magazine, Du Preez said:

‘They will be coming with revenge on their minds, especially as we felt that they believed that they were the better team in 2009. Also, the 2019 World Cup final will spur on many [Englishmen] in the team.’

Indeed, there will be fascinating similarities between the two tours, with the Lions once again set to face off against the world champions – albeit 12 years later.

The former scrumhalf says that the Boks’ crusade towards 2009 began even before the World Cup in 2007, when they also identified winning in New Zealand and beating the Lions as the big targets for the young squad.

Du Preez: It’s going to be better than any series before

The first Test in Durban had a strange momentum, Du Preez recalls. ‘Not being arrogant, but it felt easier than expected. However, the last 15 minutes we brought our whole bench on and the momentum shifted. It was nail-biting.’

The second Test in Pretoria couldn’t have been more dissimilar.

‘Everyone was very confident. But from kick-off it was completely different, so much more physical, as if we were playing a completely different team. They put us under a lot of pressure and it was tough staying in the game until the great escape at the end.’

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British and Irish Lions tour: Sir Ian McGeechan backs Stuart Lancaster for 2021 tour

Sir Ian McGeechan says he would be very surprised if British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland does not strongly consider putting Stuart Lancaster on his coaching ticket for next year’s tour of South Africa.

“Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Sportsound Extra Time, two-time Lions head coach McGeechan said Lancaster has proved himself to be an outstanding tactician in four years with Leinster.” Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

British and Irish Lions tour: Sir Ian McGeechan backs Stuart Lancaster for 2021 tour
British and Irish Lions tour: Sir Ian McGeechan backs Stuart Lancaster for 2021 tour

Lancaster joined the Irish province as a senior coach in 2016 having been sacked by England a year earlier.

“Gatland, who will take charge of the Lions for the third consecutive time, is yet to reveal any members of his coaching staff for next summer’s tour, which is scheduled to take place over five weeks between 3 July and 7 August.”

“Stuart Lancaster coming to Leinster is doing what he’s best at, what’s he’s good at, which his is coaching and his tactical work – particularly attacking wise,” said McGeechan.

“I just think over the last two or three years, we’ve seen the real quality that he has as a coach and probably he got tied up in other things which were non-coaching and non-rugby things which took him away from what he was outstandingly good at.

“The Leinster environment has shown that if you get that right, you can see what comes out of the individual.”

British and Irish Lions tour: Sir Ian McGeechan backs Stuart Lancaster for 2021 tour
British and Irish Lions tour: Sir Ian McGeechan backs Stuart Lancaster for 2021 tour

“With Lancaster and head coach Leo Cullen at the helm, Leinster has thrived and remains undefeated in 22 games this season, with the chance to retain their Pro14 title this Saturday when they meet Ulster in the final.”

McGeechan has featured in three of the last four Lions tour of South Africa, once as a player and twice as head coach.

While the 2021 tour is still scheduled to proceed as planned, South African Rugby has not ruled out postponing it if supporters cannot travel by then.

“McGeechan expects Andy Farrell, who has been defense coach on the last two tours, to once again be considered while also suggesting Gatland may have already spoken to Joe Schmidt, who stepped down as Ireland head coach after last year’s World Cup.”

“I certainly would have a conversation with him because he knows British and Irish rugby,” McGeechan said.

British and Irish Lions tour: Sir Ian McGeechan backs Stuart Lancaster for 2021 tour
British and Irish Lions tour: Sir Ian McGeechan backs Stuart Lancaster for 2021 tour

“He’s been over here for a long time, knows the players and I think Joe would benefit from being part of a Lions coaching group. As coaches, you do learn things.

“Just having the conversations about rugby or about a certain player or how you see things, it’s an incredible learning environment to be able to be a part of. I would be very surprised if ‘Gats’ has not had a conversation with Joe. “

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Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour

The Springboks’ Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe said on Monday he wants to be a part of next year’s incredible British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

Kolbe, 26, is set to feature as the visitors return to the rainbow nation for the first time since the hosts’ series victory 12 years ago. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

“I watched in 2009 and ever since I told myself I want to be a part of that,” he said during a press conference.

Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour
Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour

“Seeing the atmosphere, the way the stadiums were packed, the amount of time (that) is invested when the British and Irish Lions do come over, it’s incredible. It’s a team I want to be a part of and play in those three Tests.”

The Toulouse three-quarter, who won an Olympic Sevens bronze medal in 2016, was forced to choose between featuring at next year’s Tokyo Games, which have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic or facing Warren Gatland’s men.

“It was a difficult one with the Lions being at the same time. Being a part of the Olympics in 2016 and experiencing that was incredible,” he said.

“Playing against athletes from all over the world and meeting athletes in the Olympic village are the things you want to be a part of,” he added.

Kolbe was a teenager when the world champions beat the Lions 2-1 and have a clear memory from the second Test in Pretoria.

Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour

“Morne Steyn, playing at Loftus, so he knew the stadium, getting that penalty from past the halfway line,” he said.

“The moment with all the green jerseys standing up and they went crazy for the winning points. That was one of the highlights.

“Playing against the Lions, because they are made out of different countries makes it so much more special and playing against the best — that’s who you want to perform against and how you want to see where you are as a player.”


– ‘Difficult’ clashes –

Ahead of the tour, which runs from July 3-August 7, Kolbe is expected to feature for the Boks during The Rugby Championship later this year, so will be unavailable for the 2019 Top 14 winners for more than a month.

Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour

Kolbe called on domestic leagues and national unions to work together to create a calendar that will decrease clashes.

“If internationals do come up you have to be available to your national team, but the clubs should have an understanding in terms of when and how they need the players so players can plan,” he said.

“It’s difficult for clubs to lose players due to internationals but it also allows players to perform at the national stage.”

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Springboks took sea of red as a challenge

Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers says running out to a ‘sea of red’ motivated the team during the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

De Villiers was speaking to Rugby World magazine about the Lions’ previous tour to South Africa 12 years ago, as the invitational side is set to return next year. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Springboks took sea of red as a challenge

The Springboks claimed a thrilling 2-1 series victory over the Lions after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead with wins in Durban and Pretoria.

However, the hosts got a rude awakening in the opening Test at Kings Park, where they were left surprised after running out to a crowd dominated by Lions fans.

“Playing a home game in South Africa is an unbelievable experience, De Villiers explained. ‘You do take a lot of energy from what is a unique home crowd. That said, I got a shock when I ran out of the tunnel and saw a sea of red in the stands.”

“There we were, expecting home-ground advantage in one of the biggest games of our lives. The traveling support was so significant, however, that it effectively canceled out the home support. But we took that as part of the challenge. It motivated us in that we thought, “Right, we’re going to show these Lions fans how a Bok team performs at home.”

Springboks took sea of red as a challenge
Springboks took sea of red as a challenge

The Springboks were able to beat the Lions 26-21 in Durban thanks to a dominant performance from their pack.

De Villiers explained that it was the team’s experience with most of the players who won the 2007 World Cup retained in 2009 that played a crucial role in the second Test in Pretoria.

‘Jaque Fourie replaced me in the second half after I left the field with a shoulder injury,’ De Villiers said. ‘He ended up scoring an amazing try in the corner that brought us back into the game. It’s funny how things work out. I don’t know whether I would have been quick enough to score that try.

“We were tested a great deal over those first two games, but we had a core of veterans who had played at the 2007 World Cup and who understood what it took to perform under intense pressure. That was the difference on the day in Pretoria.”

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Crusaders coach Scott Robertson reveals how he intends to help the British & Irish Lions

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has revealed that his potential involvement in next year’s British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa may play a lesser role than many might have anticipated. Rugby enthusiasts can book South Africa Invitational Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Much has been made of the prospect of Robertson, who recently guided the Crusaders to a fourth straight title at the Super Rugby level, joining Chiefs boss Warren Gatland on his third tour in charge of the composite team. Speaking at the Country Sports Breakfast in Gold AM last week, Robertson said he asked Gatland about joining him on the tour and offered his services.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson reveals how he intends to help the British & Irish Lions
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson reveals how he intends to help the British & Irish Lions

“Once I missed the All Blacks job, I went up to Gats and asked if I could go on that tour,” he said. “I thought, see if I can’t get involved with the All Blacks, what is the most important, or actually greatest in itself, the Lions tour? I said ‘look, I’d love to help you if I can.”

Lan McGeechan

Since then, his interest in a possible coaching position has been rejected by former Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan, who wrote in The Daily Telegraph that Robertson’s enthusiasm was “flattering” but that a place on the coaching staff it should be reserved for someone who knows Lions. Players “intimately”.

However, Robertson told Stuff he doesn’t want to join the Lions coaching staff at someone else’s expense, but in a support role. The 46-year-old raised the possibility of potentially helping defense coach Andy Farrell or helping with a specific positional group, such as loose forwards.

“I’m happy to help Andy Farrell with defense, to have a more specialized role that allows him to get the best out of the group, he told Stuff. You need a hand. You have test matches and matches during the week. The coaching staff is great, they have a lot of players on Lions tours.”

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson reveals how he intends to help the British & Irish Lions
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson reveals how he intends to help the British & Irish Lions

Scott Robertson

However, Robertson revealed that he had not yet received any indication from Gatland on whether he would join the former Wales coach on the tour, and confirmed that he would not speak on the matter again until a decision has been made.

“Once again, it was an opportunity for me to grow as a person and teach with people with different mindsets and abilities and to be in such a special group. Nothing has changed since that, he told Stuff. I’m waiting to see. If I can help, it will be great.”

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Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour

The Springboks’ Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe said on Monday he wants to be a part of next year’s incredible British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

Kolbe, 26, is set to feature as the visitors return to the rainbow nation for the first time since the hosts’ series victory 12 years ago. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

“I watched in 2009 and ever since I told myself I want to be a part of that,” he said during a press conference.

Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour
Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour

“Seeing the atmosphere, the way the stadiums were packed, the amount of time (that) is invested when the British and Irish Lions do come over, it’s incredible. It’s a team I want to be a part of and play in those three Tests.”

The Toulouse three-quarter, who won an Olympic Sevens bronze medal in 2016, was forced to choose between featuring at next year’s Tokyo Games, which have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic or facing Warren Gatland’s men.

“It was a difficult one with the Lions being at the same time. Being a part of the Olympics in 2016 and experiencing that was incredible,” he said.

“Playing against athletes from all over the world and meeting athletes in the Olympic village are the things you want to be a part of,” he added.

Kolbe was a teenager when the world champions beat the Lions 2-1 and have a clear memory from the second Test in Pretoria.

Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour
Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour

“Morne Steyn, playing at Loftus, so he knew the stadium, getting that penalty from past the halfway line,” he said.

“The moment with all the green jerseys standing up and they went crazy for the winning points. That was one of the highlights.

“Playing against the Lions, because they are made out of different countries makes it so much more special and playing against the best — that’s who you want to perform against and how you want to see where you are as a player.”


– ‘Difficult’ clashes –

Ahead of the tour, which runs from July 3-August 7, Kolbe is expected to feature for the Boks during The Rugby Championship later this year, so will be unavailable for the 2019 Top 14 winners for more than a month.

Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour
Springboks Kolbe eyes incredible Lions tour

Kolbe called on domestic leagues and national unions to work together to create a calendar that will decrease clashes.

“If internationals do come up you have to be available to your national team, but the clubs should have an understanding in terms of when and how they need the players so players can plan,” he said.

“It’s difficult for clubs to lose players due to internationals but it also allows players to perform at the national stage.”

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Former British & Irish Lions Coach: Why Lions Should Turn Down Scott Robertson for South Africa Tour 2021

A former British and Irish Lions coach says Scott Robertson should not be appointed as coach for the team’s South African tour next year. Last week, the Crusaders coach revealed that he approached Warren Gatland to join him on the British and Irish Lions tour. Rugby enthusiasts can book Springboks Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Robertson said he’s interested in gaining international coaching experience after missing the All Blacks’ main job to Ian Foster. Speaking at the Country Sports Breakfast in Gold AM last week, Robertson said he asked Gatland about joining him on the tour and offered his services.

Once I missed the All Blacks job, I went up to Gats and asked if I could go on that tour, he said. I thought, see if I can’t get involved with the All Blacks, what is the most important, or actually greatest in itself, the Lions tour?

Former British & Irish Lions Coach: Why Lions Should Turn Down Scott Robertson for South Africa Tour 2021
Former British & Irish Lions Coach: Why Lions Should Turn Down Scott Robertson for South Africa Tour 2021

I said ‘look, I’d love to help you if I can. In a Daily Telegraph column, former Lions and Scotland coach Sir Ian McGeechan praised Robertson but didn’t think the Lions were a place for him.

“Robertson is probably one of the four or five best coaches in world rugby at the moment. And your interest should serve as a wake-up call for one or two people who are questioning the future of Lions as an entity,” wrote McGeechan.

But I don’t think Gats should give him a role. As flattering as his interest is, and no matter how good a coach he is, I certainly don’t think it’s the right decision. Robertson would bring something different, without a doubt. It would bring knowledge of Super Rugby and South African rugby.

“But he doesn’t know Northern Hemisphere rugby intimately. He does not know the players who will participate in intimately. Next year’s tour to South Africa will be one of the shortest and most intense of all time. There will be such a rapid change between the Premiership final and the first game – just one week. It is absolutely vital that Lions begin to function. And for that, they will need coaches that Gats knows and trusts, and who know the players.”

Former British & Irish Lions Coach: Why Lions Should Turn Down Scott Robertson for South Africa Tour 2021
Former British & Irish Lions Coach: Why Lions Should Turn Down Scott Robertson for South Africa Tour 2021

Scott Robertson

Robertson, who led the Crusaders to their fourth straight Super Rugby title this year, said his request was taken to Lions management. I’m waiting. We’ll see what happens, he said. Obviously there’s a lot to work on with COVID and the British and Irish Lions tour. But we’ve had a couple of good conversations since then and he has to go through his administration line to make a decision.

“Something that really drives and motivates me is probably learning and understanding. Obviously, Gats has been very successful internationally as a coach, so he is a person to learn from and also allows me not to have to go abroad to train and get that international experience.”

The 45-year-old, who many believed deserved the All Blacks coach job over Foster, said he is happy at the Crusaders but is open to training abroad in the future. From a personal note, I have a young family. I would love to stay with the Crusaders for as long as I can, but I am also quite cautious about the timing of roles in the international market and what happens in Europe.

Former British & Irish Lions Coach: Why Lions Should Turn Down Scott Robertson for South Africa Tour 2021
Former British & Irish Lions Coach: Why Lions Should Turn Down Scott Robertson for South Africa Tour 2021

“One of the reasons I played in France is so I can learn French to train there one day. If that’s the right thing and the right time, then great. I have a few options.”

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