Next year’s Lions tour to South Africa will go ahead as originally scheduled after organisers put to bed fears that the eight-match, three-Test trip might have to be rescheduled due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The tour kicks off on July 3 when the Lions face the Stormers in Cape Town, with the Test series getting underway on July 24 in Johannesburg.
Delighted to confirm the tour dates remain unchanged following much recent speculation, SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said: “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 travelling from abroad, with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“We have 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.
“This will be the British and 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 World Cup champions and the 2021 tour is already shaping up to be one for the ages.”
Lions director Ben Calveley added: “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.
We’re delighted to confirm that our #SA2021 Tour will go ahead as scheduled in July & August ?
It’s our first visit to South Africa since 2009 & we’ll once again face the reigning world champions @Springboks ??
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) July 15, 2020
“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’m particularly pleased that we are able to provide some clarity for all those Lions supporters eager to travel to South Africa next summer.”
Full 2021 Lions tour schedule:
- Saturday, July 3: vs DHL Stormers – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
- Wednesday, July 7: vs South Africa ‘Invitational’ – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
- Saturday, July 10: vs Cell C Sharks – Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
- Wednesday, July 14: vs South Africa ‘A’ Team – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
- Saturday, July 17: vs Vodacom Bulls – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
- Saturday, July 24 (first Test): vs Springboks – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
- Saturday, July 31 (second Test): vs Springboks – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
- Saturday, August 7 (third Test): vs Springboks – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
“It’s understandable there is disappointment and disagreement about selection – I want to have a good representation of Scottish players. I desperately want that to happen”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 17, 2020
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