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British & Irish Lions 2021 tour of South Africa to go ahead as scheduled

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After weeks of uncertainty, SA Rugby and the British & Irish Lions have confirmed that the 2021 tour to South Africa will go ahead as scheduled.

The British and Irish Lions on their 2017 tour of New Zealand. Picture: David Gray / Reuters

The Lions’ tour of South Africa will go ahead, as originally scheduled and planned.

While there were fears that the spread of the coronavirus may force the tour to a later date in 2021 it has now been confirmed the British and Irish Lions will tour South Africa between July 3 and August 7 next year. The Lions will play the World Champion Springboks in three Tests and also take on five other teams, including the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls.

The three Tests will be played at the FNB Stadium, Cape Town Stadium and Ellis Park.

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said he was delighted that the tour could go ahead in its original time slot.

“The whole of South Africa is looking forward to welcoming the Lions. We’re continuing with our plans to provide supporters and visitors to our country with a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Roux.

“We’re, however, going to 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 of South African hospitality.”

Ben Calveley, 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 it was crucial that a decision was agreed upon in good time. 

“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.”

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. 

For more information and to register interest for tickets, please visit https://tickets.lionstour2021.co.za/

Full 2021 tour schedule:

Saturday 3 July: British & Irish Lions vs DHL Stormers – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Wednesday 7 July: British & Irish Lions vs South Africa ‘Invitational’ – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Saturday 10 July: British & Irish Lions vs Cell C Sharks – Jonsson Kings Park, Durban

Wednesday 14 July: British & Irish Lions vs South Africa ‘A’ Team – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Saturday 17 July: British & Irish Lions vs Vodacom Bulls – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Saturday 24 July (first Test): Springboks vs British & Irish Lions – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg

Saturday 31 July (second Test): Springboks vs British & Irish Lions – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Saturday 7 August (third Test): Springboks vs British & Irish Lions – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

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