Jacques Nienaber has praised Lions head coach Warren Gatland and insists that world champions should be on top of their game before next summer’s British and Irish Lions Tour.
Dates for the eight-game Tour were confirmed last week, with the Lions kicking off proceedings against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday, July 3. Rugby enthusiasts can book British lions rugby tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
The long-awaited three-match test series begins in Johannesburg on July 24 and moves to Cape Town a week later before returning to Johannesburg on Saturday, August 7. It will be the first time that two teams have met since 2009 when the Springboks overcame a tight series 2-1, and Gatland was assistant coach to Sir Ian McGeechan.
This will be Gatland’s third series as head coach after he led the Lions to a 2-1 series victory in Australia in 2013 and a 1-1 draw in New Zealand four years later.
“Warren Gatland’s ability and training experience, and the teams he put together on his two previous tours to Australia and New Zealand, speak for themselves,” Springboks head coach Nienaber said.
The series win in Australia was the first in 16 years, since they beat the Boks in 1997, and we know how difficult it is to get a win or draw in New Zealand.
Warren and his coaching staff are highly experienced in setting up Lions, what it takes to fuse players from four teams and four different play styles, and what buttons to press to unlock emotions, abilities, and grunts from various countries.
“They will certainly have all their ducks in a row and it will be a great challenge for us. Certainly, there is enough intrigue and stories involved that they will make a massive shock next year.”
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