The British and Irish Lions’ tour to South Africa will go ahead as scheduled in 2021.
There were concerns the impact of the coronavirus pandemic could cause a postponement to the trip, but the original dates for all eight fixtures have now been confirmed.
The Lions will take on the reigning world champions in a three-Test series, with those games against the Springboks taking place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Gauteng.
“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,” said Ben Calveley, managing director of the Lions.
“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.”
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
Warren Gatland will once again be in charge of the tourists – the former Wales coach was also at the helm for the 2013 victory over Australia, as well as the drawn series with New Zealand three years ago.
The Lions have toured South Africa 13 times previously, including a 2-1 defeat to the Springboks in 2009 when Ian McGeechan was head coach.
Next year’s fixture list begins with a game against the Stormers in Cape Town on July 3. They also face a South Africa invitational side, the Sharks, South Africa A and the Bulls prior to the opening Test, which takes place at FNB Stadium on July 24.
Cape Town Stadium hosts the second game the following weekend, with the tour concluding at Ellis Park Stadium with the third and final Test on August 7.
“We’re delighted to confirm the Tour dates remain the same. The whole of South Africa is looking forward to welcoming the Lions and we continue progressing our plans to provide travelling supporters with a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said.
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