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Lions players receive first vaccination shot ahead of South African tour


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All members of the British and Irish Lions squad have received their first coronavirus vaccinations ahead of the summer tour to South Africa, the players visiting a site in London on Wednesday to be given the Pfizer jab with only Scotland fly-half Finn Russell missing as he is based at Racing 92 in Paris and has already been vaccinated.


The Government approved the move to protect Warren Gatland’s squad ahead of their visit to South Africa, a red list destination that is seeing a growing number of coronavirus cases. In the wider population, only people aged 30 or over are currently eligible for a jab.

The Lions hope all 37 players will get their second vaccinations by the end of their pre-tour training camp in Jersey, which begins on June 14 and leads into the warm-up game against Japan at Murrayfield on June 26.

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Scotland’s Ali Price on the moment he learned that he was a 2021 Lions pick
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Scotland’s Ali Price on the moment he learned that he was a 2021 Lions pick

Gatland and his management team are already advanced in their vaccination programme. It is still not known whether the Lions will be required to quarantine for eleven nights in a government-approved hotel when they return from South Africa on August 9.

Discussions over receiving dispensation on the basis they will be operating in a bubble environment are ongoing.

Having announced the squad on May 6, the Lions players assembled in London for an administration day ahead of their tour which is set to be played behind closed doors in South Africa – although a capacity of 16,500 has been set for their pre-tour match in Edinburgh.


Earlier this week, Japan announced their 36-man squad to face the Lions, coach Jamie Joseph including a raft of 2019 World Cup heroes in a travelling party that was trimmed down from an initial 52-man training squad. They face the Sunwolves in a warm-up game in Shizuoka on June 12 and will take on Ireland in Dublin the week after playing the Lions.



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