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Unveiled: New Lions vs Springboks Test series trophy that took 150 hours to make

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Getty Images)

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SA Rugby have unveiled the new perpetual trophy that their world champion Springboks will be competing for in July when they host the British and Irish Lions, whose 36-man squad will be announced this Thursday by Warren Gatland. 


The three-Test series will begin on July 24, with the Lions looking to fare better than in 2009 when they were defeated 2-1 when they last faced the Springboks. They have since gone on to defeat Australia 2-1 in 2013 and draw with New Zealand in 2017, an outcome that led to the unusual sight of rivals skippers Kieran Read and Sam Warburton lifting the trophy together at Eden Park.  

An SA Rugby statement on the trophy for the latest Lions tour read: “The winner of the 2021 Castle Lager Lions series in South Africa will be the recipients of the first perpetual trophy in the history of the British and Irish Lions.

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“It took more than 150 hours to make the trophy, which was hand-crafted by Thomas Lyte – official silverware supplier to the British and Irish Lions – and stands 60cm tall and weighs 6.5kgs. The main body of the trophy was handspun from a single sheet of sterling silver, while the base is handmade from sapele hardwood.

“The trophy will be presented to the winner of the Castle Lager Lions series and go into a trophy cabinet in either the northern or southern hemisphere, before reappearing in 2025 when the British and Irish Lions continue their storied history with a series in Australia.”

Lions Springboks trophy
The 2021 Lions vs Springboks Test-series trophy (Photo via SA Rugby)

Speculation in Britain and Ireland is hotting up ahead of Gatland’s squad announcement on Thursday for a tour that will feature eight matches in South Africa following a warm-up game in Edinburgh versus Japan on June 26. The latest revelation ahead of the big announcement was that England loosehead Ellis Genge wasn’t among the 50-plus players to received a ‘save the date’ email for the tour.


The 26-year-old stated at Leicester’s weekly media briefing that he has no correspondence with Gatland. “I think my emails are broken! I haven’t got one,” he said. “I’m happy that you asked that bluntly as opposed to beating around the bush, I appreciate that.” 


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