The last time they visited the southern hemisphere on PRO14 duty, the career of former Wales international Scott Baldwin was nearly ended after he suffered a horrendous hand injury after getting the wrong side of a lion at a game reserve outside Bloemfontein.
For reasons only best known to himself, Baldwin decided to pet a lion only to get more than he bargained for in response.
After he was bitten the wound became infected and following four rounds of surgery, the forward was told he could have lost his left hand and with it a career that will have a sequel next season as the Welshman has signed for Harlequins in the Premiership.
Given that painful story, which kept Baldwin out of action until an October return versus Saracens, and the mockery that would have gone with the bizarre injury, going back for seconds in South Africa should not have been on the agenda for Allen Clarke’s squad this week.
However, ahead of this weekend’s outing against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, some players have taken to social media showing they are again mingling with the big cats.
Test scrum-half Aled Davies took to Instagram on Thursday with a picture showing him stroking a tiger cub, a post that was met by the response from a follower requesting that Baldwin keeps his distance for feat of sustaining a repeat injury.
Meanwhile, Luke Morgan posted a video to his social media account that showed a lioness being petted and having her tummy ticked. A local ranger is apparently heard telling them: “Don’t be afraid, nothing will happen, they’ve been taught not to use their nails… if she bites you, smack her.”
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