The 2021 Lions tour fixtures have been announced for the British and Irish select team. In around 18 months they will travel to World Cup holders South Africa for the first time since 2009.
Here is the comprehensive fixture list for the 2021 tour.
2021 Lions tour fixtures
There will be eight tour matches in total in South Africa. The Lions will play three of the four South African Super Rugby teams, avoiding a clash against the Emirates Lions.
Between these matches they will play a South Africa Invitational XV and South Africa ‘A’ before the three tests against the Springboks.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) December 4, 2019
The first test is on Saturday 24th July 2021,continuing for three weeks until Saturday 7th August.
The South African challenge
Following undefeated tours of Australia and New Zealand, the Lions and Warren Gatland will be going for a clean sweep of tours unbeaten. They will face the recently crowned World Cup champions, who defeated the Lions 2-1 in 2009.
Personnel on both sides will be different, of course. Champions like Tendai Mtawariwa have already played their last match for the Springboks, but others like Faf de Klerk, Franco Mostert and Handrè Pollard will very much lie in wait.
It will be interesting to see the combination selected for the British and Irish Lions. England were of course comprehensively beaten by South Africa in the World Cup final, and Wales were also knocked out by the Springboks. Irish and Scottish stocks have fallen quite considerably since Japan as well.
Reaction from the opposition coach
Rassie Erasmus, South African Director of Rugby, said the tour was a once-in-a-lifetime playing opportunity for South African players.
“There are players who have been to three Rugby World Cups and finished their careers with a winner’s medal and yet never got to play against the Lions,”
“They only come around every 12 years for our players and only a few of them ever have the privilege of wearing the Springbok jersey in a Lions series.”
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