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Smit: I’ve never experienced nerves like that

Former Springbok captain John Smit has reflected on the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa and revealed how the series brought about unique pressure.

Smit was in conversation with British & Irish Lions chairman Jason Leonard in a webinar hosted by the SA Rugby Legends Association as part of the buildup to next year’s Lions tour of South Africa. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Smit: I’ve never experienced nerves like that

“The World Cup comes around every four years and if you’re lucky, you might play in one, maybe two, some three, four, five, but some of the greatest Springboks that have ever lived never got an opportunity to play against the Lions,” said Smit.

‘That responsibility and hype added to what I found extreme pressure.’

Although Smit had led the Springboks to the 2007 World Cup, he admitted there was plenty riding on the outcome of the Lions series.

“We were in a funny situation in 2009 because we were a World Cup-winning team that was two years older and a lot of the guys had scattered around a bit and signed overseas contracts.

“We’d all come together under Peter de Villiers and the motivation to stay together was because we had an opportunity to fix the 1997 result.

Smit: I’ve never experienced nerves like that
Smit: I’ve never experienced nerves like that

“I remember being asked at a press conference the week before the first Test in Durban, “How does this the hype feel compared to the World Cup final?” I played it down from an answer point of view, but in reality, I don’t think I’d ever been that nervous for a Test.

“A, because I was playing tighthead and we were told we’re going to be put under pressure from a scrum point of view and, B, if we didn’t come through with the goods, it would be 24 years of agony.

‘It’s quite a heavy feeling. I’ve never experienced nerves like that.’

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Saders confident of retaining Razor’s services

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge says Scott Robertson will still be the franchise’s head of coach next year even if he takes a role with the British & Irish Lions.

Robertson was appointed Crusaders head coach in 2017 and has led his team to championships in every season since taking control. But last week, the 45-year-old revealed he has reached out to Warren Gatland to express interest in forming part of the British & Irish Lions coaching group next year. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Saders confident of retaining Razor’s services
Saders confident of retaining Razor’s services

Robertson, who missed out on the All Blacks coaching job, told a New Zealand radio show that he has turned his attention to the possibility of taking up a role with the Lions.

But while nothing is concrete yet, Mansbridge says the Crusaders board has discussed the possibility of Robertson linking up with the Lions and discussed ways to work around it.

“Without getting into detail about what it actually looked like, there was confidence that we would be able to manage it in terms of commitment to the Crusaders’ campaign, as well as doing this Lions link, Mansbridge said.”

“He is not going to lose focus on the campaign. There is no way he doesn’t want to win another championship. If there is anything that keeps him up at night, it’s that.”

According to Mansbridge, Robertson would be able to focus solely on the Crusaders’ season before joining the Lions set-up, because it is expected that Vodacom Super Rugby will conclude about a month before the Lions tour of South Africa in July.

“He is not going to abandon the campaign at the back end – it would be how does he manage himself? And he’s exceptional at doing that. We are confident that between us we can solve any issue as it arises, Mansbridge said.

Saders confident of retaining Razor’s services

“We would like to see it as an opportunity, rather than see the problems or barriers to it, is our mindset.

“His coach’s paint around this place is going to be thicker than most. It’s as good as, if not better, than a Robbie Deans or Wayne Smith. It’s that sort of impact he’s going to have on this place. I’m not saying Razor holds all the cards, but there is no need to play hardball or be tough or anything like that.”

‘When you show someone that you want them in your whanau and you love them and you love them being there, we just keep reinforcing those, and we will let the documentation and the contracting take care of itself with time.’

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Crusader’s boss keen on coaching with British and Irish Lions

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has confirmed he has reached out to Warren Gatland to express interest in forming part of the British & Irish Lions coaching group next year.

Robertson, who missed out on the All Blacks coaching job, told a New Zealand radio show that he has turned his attention to the possibility of taking up a role with the Lions. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Crusader’s boss keen on coaching with British and Irish Lions

“Once I missed the All Blacks job I reached out to Gats and asked him if I could go on that tour to South Africa, Robertson said.”

“I thought, look if I can’t be involved with the All Blacks, what’s the biggest thing – or bigger in its self – the Lions tour – to get involved.”

Robertson recently led the Crusaders to the Super Rugby Aotearoa title and said he was now hoping to be involved in international action.

“There’s a lot to work out with COVID and the British & Irish Lions tour. But we had a couple of good conversations since and he’s got to go through his line of management to make a decision, Robertson said.

Crusader’s boss keen on coaching with British and Irish Lions

“Obviously, Gats has been hugely successful at the international level as a coach, so he’s a person to learn off and also allows me to not have to go offshore to coach and get that international experience.”

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SA Rugby fans get the bargain of the century for Lions tour

CAPE TOWN – South African rugby enthusiasts have scored the bargain of the century in ticket prices for the British and Irish Lions’ eight-game tour to SA in 2021, compared to other major sporting events globally.

And it is the hope of the executive director of the South African Rugby Union, Jurie Roux, that a “green army” will fight the “sea of ​​red” of roving Lions supporters. Rugby fans can book Vodacom Bulls Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

World Cup-winning Springbok Pieter-Stef du Toit described the Lions’ visit next year as bigger than the World Cup because it is rare for a player to get a second chance in his career to be in front of tourists.

SA Rugby fans get the bargain of the century for Lions tour
SA Rugby fans get the bargain of the century for Lions tour

Springboks World Cup-winning coach and National Rugby Director Rassie Erasmus said playing for the Lions was one of the best rugby experiences and pointed to the magnitude of the three-round series, given that players from three of The four semi-finalists of the 2019 World Cup would occupy a central place on three successive Saturdays.

“It’s going to be huge, Erasmus said, moments after his Springboks beat England to win the World Cup in Japan. We are already counting the days.”

South African

Huge may even be an understatement because the South African Lions will be the country’s biggest sporting event since the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. South Africa’s economy will receive a boost, temporary and permanent jobs will be created and sports fans will experience the traditions of an eight-match rugby tour in a professional era dominated by one-off test matches.

South African fans have also taken the lead when it comes to accessibility and affordability. The cheapest tickets are Category D tickets and these have been made exclusively for residents of South Africa.

SA Rugby fans get the bargain of the century for Lions tour
SA Rugby fans get the bargain of the century for Lions tour

The high-end match trial ticket is priced at R3000, but these tickets are invariably a corporate prize and are bought quickly. The world champions Springboks play against the best of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, and the series represents a repeat in many ways of the 2019 Springboks World Cup semi-final against Wales and the final victory against England. A premium ticket for the Springboks play-off matches in Japan costs R16, 000.

There will never be a contract that any sports ticket is fair because the demand, on the most important sports occasions, always exceeds the supply. However, in the context of the British and Irish Lions’ visit to South Africa in July 2021, a fairer system has never been introduced to accommodate South African supporters.

The radical four-tier ticketing system says to affordability, in the context of the event. The use of the word ‘affordability’ should not be confused with insensitivity to the current economic crisis in South Africa caused by Covid-19 but should be understood to represent how little it could cost to watch the Lions play in South Africa in 2021.

Springboks and Lions

The Springboks and Lions’ three test games could sell out three more times, when fans of the traveling Lions are added to the equation. The challenge for the organizers was how to make the Lions accessible to all of South Africa outside of test matches and affordable in the context of the four-tier test ticket price.

SA Rugby fans get the bargain of the century for Lions tour
SA Rugby fans get the bargain of the century for Lions tour

Lions are unique in that they tour SA only once every 12 years. Many Springboks have won World Cup medals and played in various World Cups, but never got to play against the Lions. For those regional and provincial players outside of the Springboks squad, playing the Lions is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Roux, confirming ticket prices earlier in the week, highlighted that despite the unique business collaboration between SA Rugby and the Lions, South Africa was largely the host nation, and the ticketing structure was geared toward ensuring this home advantage among the fans.

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Bowe expects incredible Lions series

Former Ireland and British & Irish Lions wing Tommy Bowe have warned the visitors to expect a tough series against the Springboks during their 2021 tour of South Africa.

Bowe was a member of the Lions squad that last toured South Africa in 2009 when the tourists suffered a 2-1 series defeat by the Springboks. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Bowe expects incredible Lions series
Bowe expects incredible Lions series

He started all three Tests against the Boks, but Bowe most vividly remembers the thrilling second Test, when the hosts claimed a 28-25 victory at Loftus Versfeld thanks to Morne Steyn’s long-range penalty winner.

Speaking to the Lions website, Bowe recalled his feelings on that day and the incredible atmosphere created by the supporters.

‘It’s going to be an incredible series and it will be incredibly difficult for the Lions,’ Bowe told the Lions website.

‘My memories of that 2009 Tour are just that second Test – I will never forget the bus going to the stadium in Pretoria. I’ve never seen passion from a crowd like I saw that day going into the stadium in Pretoria – people were shaking the bus and shouting all sorts!

‘The reverberation of the crowd in the changing room of the stadium was just outrageous – you could just feel the supporter’s right outside.’

Bowe expects incredible Lions series

Bowe added that the World Cup-winning Springbok side with the likes of Cheslin Kolbe and Pieter-Steph du Toit will put the Lions through a tough series next year.

‘The Lions are going to be up against the world champions, and South Africa showed that they’re ruthless, physical and a match for anyone. The way they played against England in the World Cup Final, they just showed how difficult they are to play against.

‘I think Pieter-Steph du Toit is just an absolute machine, and of course, they’ve also got Cheslin Kolbe, who’s at the opposite end of the spectrum size-wise but is just so gifted. He’s somebody who, the minute he gets the ball in his hands, can get the whole crowd on their feet to see what he can do. They have no shortage of talent in their team, so it’s going to be an incredible series.’

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Scott Robertson wants to take part in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions Tour

Scott Robertson has revealed that he approached Warren Gatland to join him on the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa next year. Rugby enthusiasts can book DHL Stormers Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The Crusaders coach says 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, Robertson said he asked Gatland about joining him on the tour and offered his services.

Scott Robertson wants to take part in Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions Tour
Scott Robertson wants to take part in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions Tour

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 greatest in itself, the Lions tour?

Scott Robertson

I said ‘look, I’d love to help you if I can. 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. 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 management line to make a decision.”

“Something that drives and motivates me is probably learning and understanding. 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.”

Scott Robertson wants to take part in Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions Tour
Scott Robertson wants to take part in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions Tour

The 45-year-old, who many believed deserved the All Blacks coaching 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.

“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.”

Jurie Roux

Meanwhile, South African rugby Chief Jurie Roux has raised questions about next year’s Lions tour, saying it could be postponed if fans are unable to travel due to the global pandemic. Roux said the series scheduled for July 2021 will not be financially viable if fans are unable to attend the games due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“We are looking at some different contingencies around what happens if COVID continues the way it currently does,” Roux told SA Rugby Mag.

Scott Robertson wants to take part in Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions Tour
Scott Robertson wants to take part in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions Tour

The first prize is that that doesn’t happen. The second prize is that there are some restrictions and we can manage those restrictions.

“To be fair, the absence of viewers and the inability for people to travel commercially would not make this feasible and there would be a serious reconsideration of how we continue in terms of the tour.”

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Lion’s tour contingencies under consideration

South Africa Rugby CEO Jurie Roux says there will be a serious reconsideration of next year’s British & Irish Lions tour if the current Covid-19 pandemic prevents fans from traveling. DYLAN JACK reports. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Roux held a media briefing on Tuesday to update the public on the ticketing system and pricing.

Current coronavirus lockdown restrictions would prevent fans from traveling to South Africa, let alone attending matches during the tour.

Lion’s tour contingencies under consideration

Roux explained that SA Rugby and tour organizers had been working on a best-case scenario, but that the tour would have to be reconsidered if fans are not able to travel, which would have a significant commercial impact.

“We are looking at several different contingencies around what happens if COVID continues in the way that it currently does. The first prize is that that doesn’t happen. The second prize is that there are some restrictions and we can manage those restrictions.

“To be fair, no spectators and an inability for people to travel would commercially not make this viable and there would be a serious reconsideration on how we then continue in terms of the tour.

Lion's tour contingencies under consideration
Lion’s tour contingencies under consideration

“In the buildup to this, in the last couple of months, there was some consideration given to moving it out. We decided on the best-case information that we currently have, is that in all likelihood by June and July next year, travel would have returned to what is deemed normal and that we will be able to continue.’

On Tuesday, SA Rugby announced that tickets from as little as R100 for next year’s Lions tour will be available from 2 September.

However, should the Lions tour be called off, Roux said that there are systems in place to ensure that fans from the UK and South Africa get their money back.

“We are assessing that on a weekly and monthly basis. From a ticketing point of view, there is legislation in place in the UK in terms of repayment if an event like the Lions tour doesn’t happen. We have built-in those securities in terms of the South African ticket sales as well. From a fan point of view, they are covered when it comes to that element.

“We are hoping that does not happen, but we will assess that as we move along.’

As far as postponing the Lions tour goes, Roux explained that it would be highly unlikely as it would cause a shake-up of the global calendar and come into conflict with Premiership and PRO14 dates.

Lion's tour contingencies under consideration
Lion’s tour contingencies under consideration

“In terms of moving the dates of the tour to a later stage next year given the decisions around the global calendar would be unlikely,’ Roux said. ‘It would probably mess with PRL, PRO14, and a few other dates, which would make it highly unlikely.

“Unless everybody gets together like they have done for the global calendar and makes a collective decision to move that. At the moment, I would deem it unlikely. I cannot speak on behalf of the other member unions.’

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BOWE: LIONS FACE A DIFFICULT TEST NEXT SUMMER

The two-time Lions tourist has vivid memories of his playing days against the Springboks, beginning in all three Trials of the 2009 Tour when Sir Ian McGeechan’s men succumbed to a 2-1 series loss.

The former Ireland winger was also central to the Lions’ series win in Australia in 2013, but it’s that visit to South Africa that remains in the memory, as tourists lost a thrilling second Test 28-25 in the Loftus heat. Versfeld Stadium. Rugby enthusiasts can book Springboks Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Bowe will always remember that day in Pretoria and says that while the South African population is among the most welcoming hosts in world rugby, Warren Gatland’s team will need all his mental determination to deal with the pressures of the game day.

BOWE: LIONS FACE A DIFFICULT TEST NEXT SUMMER
BOWE: LIONS FACE A DIFFICULT TEST NEXT SUMMER

“It’s going to be an incredible series and it will be incredibly difficult for the Lions,” the 36-year-old said.

The South African crowd is so passionate about their team, but also very welcoming. I think they appreciate the Lions and their support coming into the country. There is something special about the Lions with the union of the four countries, with the color and emotion of the Lions fans combined with the passion and pride, particularly towards the Lions, of the Springbok fans.

British and Irish Lions

I think it’s the perfect combination and it’s an incredible and very special Tour and place to play; every time the Lions tour of South Africa has always been amazing, next year will be no different.

My memories of that 2009 Tour are only that second test; I will never forget the bus to the Pretoria stadium. I have never seen the passion of a crowd like the one I saw that day entering the stadium in Pretoria – people were waving the bus and yelling about everything!

“The reverberation from the crowd in the stadium locker room was just outrageous, you could feel the crowd right outside.”

BOWE: LIONS FACE A DIFFICULT TEST NEXT SUMMER
BOWE: LIONS FACE A DIFFICULT TEST NEXT SUMMER

A last-gasp penalty from Morné Steyn in that iconic second Test wiped out the Lions’ hopes of leveling the series that year, before McGeechan’s men rallied to triumph 28-9 in Johannesburg in a series loss. 2-1.

But it was in Australia four years later that Bowe became a Lions immortal, missing the first trial through injury but recovering in time for the second and third as the Lions won 41-16 in Sydney to end their wait. Age 16 for a Tour win.

Bowe is very familiar with what makes Tour opponents effective, having encountered the likes of John Smit, Bryan Habana, Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper on those visits to South Africa and Australia.

Springbok

The former running back is looking forward to next summer’s series and has chosen two players from Springbok, who played when South Africa beat England 32-12 in the World Cup final, with the ability to thwart the Lions’ advances.

BOWE: LIONS FACE A DIFFICULT TEST NEXT SUMMER
BOWE: LIONS FACE A DIFFICULT TEST NEXT SUMMER

“The Lions are going to face the world champions and South Africa showed that they are ruthless, physical and a match for anyone,” he added.

The way they played England in the World Cup final, it just showed how difficult it is to play England. I think Pieter-Steph du Toit is just an absolute machine and of course, they also have Cheslin Kolbe, who is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to size but is so talented. He is someone who, the moment he has the ball in his hands, he can get the whole crowd to stand up to see what he can do.

“They don’t lack talent on their team, so it’s going to be an incredible series.”

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Crusaders coach Scott Robertson keen to join British & Irish Lions staff

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said he has asked about joining the coaching staff of fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland when he leads the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa next year. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Robertson, who missed out on the All Blacks coaching job last year, said a role on the Lions tour would help give him some international experience.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson keen to join British & Irish Lions staff

“I thought, look if I can’t be involved with the All Blacks, what’s the biggest thing – or bigger in its self – the Lions tour – to get involved,” Robertson told New Zealand radio station Gold AM on Friday.

“Obviously Gats (Gatland) has been hugely successful at the international level as a coach, so he’s a person to learn off and also allows me to not have to go offshore to coach and get that international experience.”

Gatland is taking a year off from coaching the Chiefs to coach the Lions.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson keen to join British & Irish Lions staff
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson keen to join British & Irish Lions staff

Robertson guided the Crusaders to the domestic Super Rugby Aotearoa title earlier this month to add to their three successive Super Rugby titles since he took over in 2017.

The All Blacks appointed Ian Foster, an assistant coach for the past eight years, to succeed Steve Hansen.

Robertson said he had not heard anything back from Lions management yet.

The Lions play three Tests, two in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town, against the world champion Springboks on an eight-match tour from July 3-Aug. 7 next year.

However, SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux this week admitted the tour might not go ahead next year if travel restrictions remained in place across the world.

“Travelling for international events will likely still be under more pressure than pre-COVID [in July 2021],” Roux said.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson keen to join British & Irish Lions staff

“No spectators and people not being able to travel would not make this commercially viable, and then we would discuss how we continue with the tour.

“There has been some talk of moving it out [to a new date], but our travel advice is that by June/July we should be at what is deemed to be normal international travel.

“But we are monitoring it every month.”

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Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux used the lottery ticket analogy on Tuesday to talk about the importance of registering online for the right to see the British and Irish Lions here next year. Rugby fans can book South Africa Invitational Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

In an even broader context, he could have said that to be a big winner you need a ticket and that is perhaps the way South Africans should approach the long-awaited tour. SA Rugby on Tuesday urged local fans to register and go on the ballot at www.lionstour2021.co.za “between” September 2-16 to avoid disappointment.

Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?
Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?

Despite what some may argue is exorbitant prices, there will be a ticket stampede, especially in the UK and Ireland once travel gets easier and we have learned to better deal with the vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of course, in the coming months, the pandemic will cast a long and ominous shadow over the tour, but the organizers have crossed their hygienic fingers.

The cheapest trial ticket is a Category D offer for R500 and the price increases considerably as you go down to the best seats in the house. Category C tickets cost R1 250, Category B will sell for R2 000, while the beautiful seats will cost you R3 000. These prices compare favorably with those set for the 2009 Lions tour.

For matches outside of Trials, prices vary from venue to venue, but the lowest-priced ticket for a Lions match next year will be for matches in Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit, which will cost R100. What South Africans must ask themselves is whether the entertainment on offer is commensurate with the face value of the ticket amid a contracting economy and an underperforming Rand.

Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?
Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?

British and Irish Lions

They will be less bothered by the fact that the price is very competitive compared to other international sporting events of a similar type. A trial ticket for the 2017 B&I Lions series in New Zealand would have cost you around R1 800 for the cheapest seat. A category A ticket to last year’s Rugby World Cup final cost around R16, 800.

What South Africans will also want to know is whether they will get the most out of their investment. In short, the series will pit the Rugby World Cup champions against a team comprising the best of Great Britain and Ireland that have not lost a series since their last tour here in 2009.

That in itself has great promise. The fact that Lions tours are on the hazard list should also influence the deliberations of the locals. They no longer have the providence that they once had on the game schedule.

Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?
Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?

As revered as those who participate in them, they are like the fabulously festive guy who walks by with a bulky duffel bag and then disappears like a leap year. The much-debated world rugby calendar is being shaped and it remains to be seen what footprint the Lions’ tours will have.

For the past several decades, almost all the energy and excitement on Lions tours have gone into test matches. Commercially, midweek games, we are told, have become a tough sell for broadcasters. In an increasingly congested calendar, it’s no wonder Lions tours have become more of a city break than a safari.

South Africa

In 1980, Bill Beaumont’s Lions played 18 games, on their next visit to South Africa they played 13, while on their last visit in 2009 they were sold out 10 times. Next year’s tour includes just eight matches. You can see where this is headed.

Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?
Does the British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa next year give us bang for our buck?

The lions tours may not be what they used to be, but when you look at them you are left with the feeling that you are getting a piece of history. The fact is, Lions tours are legendary. We are tied to the sport’s past like no other steam or jet-set odyssey team.

They evoke images of camaraderie and combat, brotherhood and blood, mischief and threats, jubilation, and daydreaming. Lions tours take us back to a time when the clock seemed to stop and only the moment mattered.

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