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NIENABER: GATLAND AND LIONS WILL BE HARD TO STOP

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.

NIENABER: GATLAND AND LIONS WILL BE HARD TO STOP
NIENABER: GATLAND AND LIONS WILL BE HARD TO STOP

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

“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.

NIENABER: GATLAND AND LIONS WILL BE HARD TO STOP
NIENABER: GATLAND AND LIONS WILL BE HARD TO STOP

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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Vodafone named lead sponsor of British and Irish Lions for South Africa tour

British and Irish Lions have announced telecommunications company Vodafone as the lead sponsor for the upcoming tour of South Africa next year.

Vodafone’s logo will be displayed on the front of the Lions’ shirt and will replace Standard Investments, who led the sponsorship in 2017 during the tour of New Zealand. Rugby fans can book Springboks vs British and lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The deal also extends to the provision of communications for the touring party and technical support for training and player performance.

Vodafone named lead sponsor of British and Irish Lions for South Africa tour
Vodafone named lead sponsor of British and Irish Lions for South Africa tour

According to reports, it is learned that Standard Investments paid up to £6.25m for the tour of New Zealand while HSBC had paid up to £5m for the 2013 tour of Australia for the sponsorship.

“Today’s announcement represents two iconic brands coming together. Along with supporting Warren and the team, Vodafone will also help to enhance the experience of Lions supporters through the very best technology and innovation,” said Managing Director of the British & Irish Lions Ben Calveley.

“The fans are a crucial aspect of any Lions tour and we will need to ensure they feel part of the team, to ignite their incredible support if we are to overcome the World Champions.

“In Vodafone, we have found a partner who shares our passion for connectivity, and we are delighted to have them on board to enhance the experience of the Lions fans across the world.”

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland also welcomed Vodafone for the association with the side.

Vodafone named lead sponsor of British and Irish Lions for South Africa tour
Vodafone named lead sponsor of British and Irish Lions for South Africa tour

“I am excited to welcome aboard Vodafone as a team sponsor for the tour next summer. The key to a successful Lions Tour is about players coming together quickly and staying united behind one common goal – to win a Test series against the World Champions in South Africa.

“I cannot think of a brand that knows more about bringing people together than Vodafone. I am sure they will play an important role in supporting the team on and off the pitch, as well as ensuring the Tour is a unique experience for all Lions supporters.”

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Brian O’Driscoll names his Lions XV 2021 to defeat the Springboks: 8 English, 3 Welsh, 2 Irish and 2 Scots

2005 Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll named the XV he believes capable of defeating South Africa when the expected series of tests against the Springboks begin this time next July. Rugby fans can book British lions tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

O’Driscoll, the Irish midfielder who toured four Lions and Warren Gatland infamously dropped him for the 2013 series decisive against Australia, has opted for an England-dominated team for a 2021 series starting in Johannesburg on 24 July next year.

Brian O'Driscoll names his Lions XV 2021 to defeat the Springboks: 8 English, 3 Welsh, 2 Irish and 2 Scots
Brian O’Driscoll names his Lions XV 2021 to defeat the Springboks: 8 English, 3 Welsh, 2 Irish and 2 Scots

It is a team that reflects O’Driscoll’s taste for the England team under Eddie Jones: O’Driscoll had tipped them to win last year’s World Cup before the tournament began, a prediction that only fell short in the final hurdle when the Springboks beat the English in Yokohama.

By announcing his choice of the Off The Ball radio show in Ireland, O’Driscoll began his eight-player English preference by choosing Anthony Watson and Jonny May on the wings, Manu Tuilagi in the middle and Owen Farrell in the middle.

In advance, he added four more English men, Billy Vunipola at n. 8th, Sam Underhill in the opening, Jamie George in the prostitute and ending with Maro Itoje on the blind side instead of the second row, which is his regular position in England and where he played for the Lions tied in 2017 Test Series in New Zealand.

Brian O'Driscoll names his Lions XV 2021 to defeat the Springboks: 8 English, 3 Welsh, 2 Irish and 2 Scots
Brian O’Driscoll names his Lions XV 2021 to defeat the Springboks: 8 English, 3 Welsh, 2 Irish and 2 Scots

Explaining his thoughts on Itoje, O’Driscoll said: “The back row, aside from Billy, is very difficult. I’m going to go from one size aspect and it makes another decision easier. I’m going to go with Maro Itoje to That size will matter, particularly against South Africa, whom we’ve seen physically decimate the teams.

“If you watch Pieter-Steph du Toit playing at six, you have to match him. Itoje is someone who is capable of doing that.”

Brian O’Driscoll

Trading players from other countries that he wants to present at the Gatland XV, O’Driscoll chose Jonathan Davies at No. 13, Tomos Williams in the scrum-half and veteran Alun Wyn Jones in the lock.

Completing the team with two teams from Ireland and Scotland, O’Driscoll calculated that Irish regulars Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan will appear in the tight five, while his Scottish favorites were Stuart Hogg on the side and surprisingly Rory Sutherland on loosehead.

Brian O'Driscoll names his Lions XV 2021 to defeat the Springboks: 8 English, 3 Welsh, 2 Irish and 2 Scots
Brian O’Driscoll names his Lions XV 2021 to defeat the Springboks: 8 English, 3 Welsh, 2 Irish and 2 Scots

Off The Ball Lions XV, by Brian O’Driscoll: Stuart Hogg Scotland; Anthony Watson England, Jonathan Davies Wales, Manu Tuilagi England, Jonny May England; Owen Farrell England, Tomos Williams Wales; Rory Sutherland Scotland, Jamie George England, Tadhg Furlong Ireland, James Ryan Ireland, Alun Wyn Jones Wales, Maro Itoje England, Sam Underhill England, Billy Vunipola England.

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Nienaber: Lions will have their ducks in a row

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber expects the coaching continuity and experience of Warren Gatland to pose a massive challenge during next year’s British & Irish Lions tour.

The first Test between the Springboks and British & Irish Lions is scheduled to take place exactly a year from today in Johannesburg. Rugby fans can book Springboks vs British and lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, speaking on the SA Rugby Podcast, said he is expecting more of the same from Gatland and his touring team when they arrive in South Africa in 2021.

Nienaber: Lions will have their ducks in a row
Nienaber: Lions will have their ducks in a row

It will be Nienaber’s second encounter with the British & Irish Lions after he was involved with Western Province in 2009. The tourists won a tough tussle in torrential rain 26-23 at Newlands in Cape Town.

Gatland has not lost a series since being appointed as Lions head coach in 2012. The New Zealander was involved in the 2009 Tour as a forwards coach and has since coached the invitational team to a 2-1 series win against Australia – which included a massive 41-16 victory in the final Test – as well as a 1-1 series draw against the All Blacks after the final encounter ended in a 15-15 stalemate.

‘Warren Gatland’s coaching ability and experience, and the teams he assembled on their two previous tours to Australia and New Zealand, speaks for itself,’ Nienaber said.

Nienaber: Lions will have their ducks in a row
Nienaber: Lions will have their ducks in a row

‘The series victory in Australia was their first in 16 years, since they beat the Boks in 1997, and we know how tough it is to get a win or a draw in New Zealand.

‘Warren and his coaching staff are very experienced in the Lions set-up, what is needed to fuse players from four teams and four different styles of play, and what buttons to press to unlock the emotions, skill sets and grunt from various countries.

‘They will certainly have all their ducks in a row and it will be a massive challenge for us.’

Gatland returned to New Zealand after finishing his 13-year tenure as Wales coach last year and is busy coaching the Chiefs in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

A concern for Nienaber is that he does not know what to expect from the Lions, but the Springbok coach says he is taking note from what Gatland is doing with the Chiefs.

‘The negative for us, is that we don’t know what type of playing style they will bring to South Africa,’ Nienaber admitted.

Nienaber: Lions will have their ducks in a row

‘We’re watching Warren with the Chiefs at the moment, to see what direction they are taking as he might bring some of that over to SA next year. There certainly is enough intrigue and story lines involved that makes for one massive clash next year.’

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Springboks expect to meet well-drilled British and Irish Lions in 2021

According to Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, next year’s tour of the British and Irish Lions to South Africa will pose a massive challenge to his team.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has offered effusive praise for the British and Irish Lions and their coach Warren Gatland. Rugby fans can book Springboks vs British and lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Springboks expect to meet well-drilled British and Irish Lions in 2021
Springboks expect to meet well-drilled British and Irish Lions in 2021

Gatland will coach the Lions for the third time when they tour South Africa in 2021, completing the traditional set having already taken the team to Australia and his native New Zealand.

Formerly the coach of Wales, Gatland has taken up a position with the Chiefs who will grant him leave to mentor the Lions. His time in Waikato has made a rough start with the team failing to win a match in Super Rugby Aotearoa to date.

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS WILL BE READY TO FACE SPRINGBOKS

Nienaber expects Gatland’s Lions to be a different prospect though and is relishing testing himself against the veteran coach.

“Warren Gatland’s coaching ability and experience, and the teams he assembled on their two previous tours to Australia and New Zealand, speaks for itself,” said Nienaber.

“The series victory in Australia was their first in 16 years since they beat the Boks in 1997, and we know how tough it is to get a win or a draw in New Zealand.

Springboks expect to meet well-drilled British and Irish Lions in 2021

“Warren and his coaching staff are very experienced in the Lions set-up, what is needed to fuse players from four teams and four different styles of play, and what buttons to press to unlock the emotions, skill sets and grunt from various countries.

“They will certainly have all their ducks in a row and it will be a massive challenge for us.”

ONE EYE ON THE CHIEFS

Nienaber said that he and his technical team had one eye on what Gatland was doing at the Chiefs to perhaps glean some insights.

“The negative for us, is that we don’t know what type of playing style they will bring to South Africa,” said Nienaber.

“We’re watching Warren with the Chiefs at the moment, to see what direction they are taking as he might bring some of that over to SA next year. There certainly is enough intrigue and storylines involved that makes for one massive clash next year.”

Springboks expect to meet well-drilled British and Irish Lions in 2021
Springboks expect to meet well-drilled British and Irish Lions in 2021

The British and Irish Lions are set to play eight matches in all in South Africa with five tour games augmenting the three Tests.

The first Test in the three-match series is slated to take place on Saturday 24 July 2021 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. A week later they will face the Springboks again at Newlands before the series wraps up back in Johannesburg at Ellis Park.

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British and Irish lions know what it takes to win – Nienaber

The success in Australasia in 2013 and 2017, coupled with the continued training and experience of Warren Gatland, means that next year’s British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa will be “massive” and a fitting challenge for the Springboks. Rugby fans can book British lions rugby tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The first test is slated for a year from today in Johannesburg and Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, speaking on the SA Rugby Podcast, said he expects more of the same from Gatland and his touring team when they arrive in South Africa in 2021.

It will be Nienaber’s second encounter with the British and Irish Lions after he was involved with DHL’s Western Province in 2009. Tourists won a tough battle in torrential rain 26-23 at DHL Newlands in Cape Town.

British and Irish lions know what it takes to win - Nienaber
British and Irish lions know what it takes to win – Nienaber

Four years later, the Gatland Lions beat the Wallabies 2-1, winning the Final Test 41-16, the most points scored in a Test by the European touring team and their biggest victory since a beating Australia 31-0. 1966. In 2017 Gatland led a strong squad to New Zealand, where they drew the Test series after the final match ended at a 15-15 deadlock.

“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,” 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.”

British and Irish lions know what it takes to win - Nienaber
British and Irish lions know what it takes to win – Nienaber

Jacques Nienaber

One area of ​​concern for Nienaber is that the Springboks won’t know exactly what to expect from the British and Irish Lions, but they are taking notes from an unlikely source: Hamilton in New Zealand.

“The negative for us is that we don’t know what kind of playing style they will bring to South Africa, said Nienaber. We are looking at Warren with the Chiefs right now, to see what direction they are going, as he could take some of that to SA next year. Certainly, there is enough intrigue and stories involved that they will make a massive shock next year.”

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South Africa: British, Irish Lions Tour of SA Goes Ahead

THE British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa will go ahead in July next year, defying fears that it would be halted by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The eight-game tour kicks off on July 3 at the Cape Town Stadium with a fixture between the visitors and DHL Stormers.

It concludes on August 7 when the Springboks host British and Irish Lions at the Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Rugby fans can book British lions rugby Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

South Africa: British, Irish Lions Tour of SA Goes Ahead
South Africa: British, Irish Lions Tour of SA Goes Ahead

Jurie Roux, Chief Executive Officer of South Africa Rugby, confirmed the tour dates have remained unchanged.

“The whole of South Africa is looking forward to welcoming the Lions,” he told CAJ News Africa in Cape Town.

“We continue progressing our plans to provide our local supporters, as well as fans travelling from abroad, with a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Roux said.

This will be the British and Irish Lions’ third tour since the game turned professional.

They won the 1997 tour while South Africa clinched the 2009 edition.

“On every occasion, the Springboks took the field as reigning Rugby World Cup champions and the 2021 tour is already shaping up to be one for the ages,” Roux said.

South Africa: British, Irish Lions Tour of SA Goes Ahead

Ben Calveley, British and Irish Lions Managing Director, lamented that COVID-19 pandemic had caused massive disruption to the sporting calendar but also confirmed the tour will proceed as initially arranged.

He was speaking from England.

“I am particularly pleased that we are able to provide some clarity for all those Lions supporters eager to travel to South Africa next summer,” Calveley stated.

The British and Irish Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions since the first one in 1891.

The Springboks have an upper hand, winning 23 of the ties to the tourists’ 17.

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British and Irish Lions tour decision sparks fresh concern for player welfare

The British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa will still place next summer despite concerns over player welfare with the Premiership season delayed

The British and Irish Lions have been given the go-ahead to tour South Africa next summer – sparking fresh concern for player welfare. Rugby fans can book British lions rugby Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Weeks of uncertainty ended when organisers confirmed that the eight-match trip, culminating in three Tests against the world champion Springboks, will take place as originally scheduled.

British and Irish Lions tour decision sparks fresh concern for player welfare
British and Irish Lions tour decision sparks fresh concern for player welfare

Both parties had been prepared to push the tour back into the autumn if it freed up a summer slot for global rugby to at least make a start on repairing its parlous financial situation.

But with club and country unable to agree on a route out of Covid crisis, the Lions have chosen to go ahead as planned, starting in Cape Town on July 3 and running through to August 7, when the final Test is staged at Ellis Park.

The fortnight-long series clashes directly with the Olympics but of greater concern to players will be that it leaves next to time for rest from the moment the English Premiership resumes next month.

Just this week former England star Freddie Burns launched a scathing attack on rugby bosses in these pages over the ‘brutal’ Premiership demands being imposed on the country’s stars.

He condemned as “madness” the revised schedule, which sees clubs play seven times in 28 days in order to finish this campaign in time to start the next one less than a month later.

“Player welfare is a term we hear a lot about,” said the Japan-bound fly-half. “But I don’t think it’s quite backed up by anyone in the game.”

Elite players in England are limited to 30 full games – or 35 match ‘involvements’ of 20 minutes or more – under the agreement between clubs, country and players’ union.

Yet the top players face the prospect of up to five Tests in the autumn and a Six Nations Championship in the spring.

Add to that two European Cups and one and a half domestic league campaigns before the Lions even set off on safari and there are difficult conversations looming.

British and Irish Lions tour decision sparks fresh concern for player welfare

Days after Premiership Rugby boss Darren Childs claimed “every single club is absolutely on board and totally supportive” with the schedule, Damian Hopley revealed that the players’ union he leads are still discussing the small print.

Whatever the state of the Lions when they finally assemble, South Africa has vowed to lay on a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience for their fans – while challenging home supporters to “ensure the army of red does not dwarf our sea of green and gold”.

Seven players and two non-playing staff, from a pool of 856, have tested positive in Premiership Rugby’s second round of Covid testing.

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SA Rugby plans joint tour documentary with British and Irish Lions

A ground-breaking partnership between SA Rugby and the British and Irish Lions includes plans of a tour documentary.

The British and Irish Lions 2021 tour to South Africa will spawn another documentary, this time in a joint venture between the two rugby giants.

In previous tours, both teams have given fans access to behind the scenes content via 1997’s Living with the Lions, which documented the visitors’ expedition, as well as a similar look into the 2009 tour. Rugby fans can book British lions rugby Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

SA Rugby plans joint tour documentary with British and Irish Lions
SA Rugby plans joint tour documentary with British and Irish Lions

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS TOUR TO SA DOCUMENTARY IN THE WORKS

In an all-encompassing venture between SA Rugby and the Lions, fans will gain access through both camps.

In a joint statement issued out on Friday, Lions managing director Ben Calvery said this was the first time in the team’s long history that a tour has been approached in this manner.

“A Lions Tour is a global sporting event and its continued commercial growth over the last decade has made it clear that a more collaborative, efficient, and optimized structure was needed,” he said.

“Together with SA Rugby, this new approach will ensure that the 2021 Tour will reach new heights and avoid some of the inefficiencies we have experienced on previous tours. While the competition on the field of play is great, off the field we should aspire to work collaboratively to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts.” 

SA Rugby chief executive, Jurie Roux said the venture was a good example of co-operation in the north and southern hemisphere.

“I am confident that this new more collaborative approach will help unlock new and increased revenues for South African rugby and the British & Irish Lions, which gets reinvested into the game, and look forward to working in close partnership between now and the Tour next year.”

The Lions are expected to land in South Africa in June, ahead of five tour matches – the first of which kicks off on 3 July – and three Tests against the Springboks.

SA Rugby plans joint tour documentary with British and Irish Lions

§  FULL TOUR SCHEDULE 

  • Saturday 3 July: British & Irish Lions v DHL Stormers – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
  • Wednesday 7 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa’ Invitational’ – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
  • Saturday 10 July: British & Irish Lions v Cell C Sharks – Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
  • Wednesday 14 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa ‘A’ Team – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
  • Saturday 17 July: British & Irish Lions v Vodacom Bulls – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
  • Saturday 24 July (first Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
  • Saturday 31 July (second Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
  • Saturday 7 August (third Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

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SA Rugby, British & Irish Lions agree 2021 tour goes ahead

The eight-game tour kicks off in little under a year on July 3, 2021

The South African Rugby Union, otherwise known as SA Rugby, has confirmed that the scheduled British & Irish Lions Tour for next year is going ahead as scheduled according to a statement from SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux on July 15. Rugby fans can book British lions rugby Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Furthermore, the initial dates released for the tour games also remain unchanged with plans going on as normal despite the growing threat of the global coronavirus pandemic.

SA Rugby, British & Irish Lions agree 2021 tour goes ahead
SA Rugby, British & Irish Lions agree 2021 tour goes ahead

The eight-game tour kicks off in little under a year on July 3 when the Lions play Vodacom Super Rugby’s DHL Stormers in Cape Town.

“Three weeks later the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg will host the first test – a venue which last hosted the Springboks in 2013 when the Boks put Argentina to the sword in a 73-13 victory.”

The second test follows on July 31 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 August 7 at Emirates Airline Park – the storied venue of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

“SA Rugby boss Roux enthused: “The whole of South Africa is looking forward to welcoming the Lions and we continue progressing our plans to provide our local supporters, as well as fans traveling from abroad, with a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.”

“We’ve seen with the three most recent tours, in 2009 to South Africa, 2013 to Australia and 2017 to New Zealand, that the Lions bring with them a big and passionate group of supporters. We have to ensure the army of red does not dwarf our sea of green and gold, while at the same time showing our guests the best South African hospitality.

SA Rugby, British & Irish Lions agree 2021 tour goes ahead
SA Rugby, British & Irish Lions agree 2021 tour goes ahead

“This will be the British & Irish Lions’ third tour since the game turned professional, with them winning in 1997 and us taking the spoils in 2009. On every occasion the Springboks took the field as reigning Rugby World Cup champions and the 2021 tour is already shaping up to be one for the ages.”

“Ben Calveley, British & Irish Lions managing director, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of disruption to the sporting calendar, but after extensive discussions, we are now able to confirm that the tour dates are as previously announced.”

“An enormous amount of planning, especially from a logistical perspective, goes into putting on a Lions series, so a decision needed to be agreed upon in good time. I am particularly pleased that we can provide some clarity for all those Lions supporters eager to travel to South Africa next summer.”

SA Rugby, British & Irish Lions agree 2021 tour goes ahead
SA Rugby, British & Irish Lions agree 2021 tour goes ahead

“The British & Irish 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.”

Following their desperately close loss the last time around, the famous Lions will be looking for revenge, but with the world champion Springboks at the top of their game, fans are sure to be given their money’s worth once again.

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