Lions confirm revised South Africa tour schedule

By Sports Desk May 14, 2021

The British and Irish Lions have confirmed a revised schedule for this year's tour of South Africa.

All eight matches will be played in either Gauteng or Cape Town to reduce the risk of disruption potentially caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Warren Gatland's side start the trip with a fixture against the Lions in Johannesburg on July 3, rather than facing an SA Invitational team which would have been chosen from players across the country.

The tourists will play three games against provincial opposition in Gauteng before heading to Cape Town, where they will play another two warm-up games ahead of the first Test.

The Lions, who will be captained by Alun Wyn Jones, will then take on the Springboks twice at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg to complete the series.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused considerable disruption to the global sporting calendar, but after discussions with our partners at SA Rugby, we are very pleased to be able to give confirmation of the revised tour schedule," said Lions managing director Ben Calveley.

"While things will undoubtedly look different to a typical Lions tour, together with SA Rugby we are determined to deliver an uninterrupted Series for the players who will take the field, as well as the many millions of people watching at home.

"We would like to thank all Lions supporters for their patience and understanding as we continue to navigate our way through the impact of the pandemic, and also extend our enormous gratitude to our commercial partners for their incredible ongoing support."

 

British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa schedule:

July 3: Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
July 7: Sharks (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
July 10: Bulls (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
July 14: South Africa A (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 17: Stormers (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 21: South Africa (First Test, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 31: South Africa (Second Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)
August 7: South Africa (Third Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)

Related items

  • Spain lose appeal against disqualification from 2023 Rugby World Cup Spain lose appeal against disqualification from 2023 Rugby World Cup

    Spain's appeal over their disqualification from the 2023 Rugby World Cup has been dismissed, with Romania taking their place in next year's tournament.

    Los Leones booked a place in the competition for the first time in 24 years in March through the Rugby Europe Championship.

    However, World Rugby announced in April that Spain had been booted out of the competition after being found to have fielded an ineligible player in two preliminary matches.

    South African Gavin Van den Berg played twice for Spain, but his eligibility was questioned by rivals Romania, with World Rugby deciding he did not fit the criteria.

    To qualify on residency rules, players involved in qualifying needed to have lived in their chosen country for 36 consecutive months.

    The Spanish Rugby Federation (FER) pinned the blame on an alleged forgery of Van den Berg's passport, and they submitted new evidence to help support their appeal.

    However, it was ruled inadmissible because the FER "had not adequately explained" why the evidence had not been made available prior to the first hearing.

    World Rugby therefore upheld the previous decision and added that Spain – who also suffered a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player in their failed 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign – had no further right to appeal.

    Romania will replace Spain in Pool B, which also contains Ireland, Scotland, reigning world champions South Africa and either an Asian or Pacific qualifier.

    Portugal will take Romania's place in the Final Qualification Tournament in November 2022, with the competition itself scheduled to begin in France on September 8 next year.

  • England head coach Jones will 'thrive' under pressure on Australia tour, says ex-assistant Ella England head coach Jones will 'thrive' under pressure on Australia tour, says ex-assistant Ella

    Glen Ella says Eddie Jones will be thriving on coming under fire and expects England to step up when they face Australia in a three-match Test series next month.

    The 62-year-old heads back to his homeland with the Red Rose smarting from a chastening warm-up hammering at the hands of the Barbarians following a disappointing Six Nations campaign.

    Jones is undefeated against his country of birth during his England tenure, and famously oversaw a series whitewash in 2016.

    Ella, a former school-mate of Jones who also played club rugby with him at Randwick and was his assistant six years ago, feels he will conjure up a response with his back against the wall and with key men to return.

    "I sit here laughing when I see some of the press that is coming out of England," he told The Guardian. "Some of it is warranted, there’s no doubt about that, but this is what he thrives on.

    "They’ll come over here and put three good games together, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

    "He thrives under that kind of pressure and that probably brings the best out of him, especially away from England, in an environment that he knows.

    "He probably left not on the best terms in Australia but the one thing about Eddie is that he’s got a lot of belief in himself and a lot of belief in his team."

    The Wallabies will have a point to prove after failing to get the better of England under Jones and they are a different proposition under Dave Rennie.

    "It’s harder coaching a foreign team, as Eddie is finding at the moment, and to win the Australian public over they need to win the series," Ella added.

    "But it’s a different Australia these days and especially with the Super Rugby sides on the up, there’s big expectation. England have beaten the Australians eight times under Eddie and so [Australia’s] got a lot to answer for."

     

  • Schmidt to coach All Blacks ahead of first Ireland Test due to COVID-19 cases Schmidt to coach All Blacks ahead of first Ireland Test due to COVID-19 cases

    Joe Schmidt will help New Zealand prepare for the first Test against Ireland at Eden Park on Saturday after head coach Ian Foster and two of his assistants tested positive for COVID-19.

    Foster and assistant coach John Plumtree tested positive for coronavirus at the weekend and Scott McLeod is the latest coach to contract the virus.

    Former Ireland head coach Schmidt will work with the New Zealand squad this week in the absence of that trio.

    Centres David Havili and Jack Goodhue have also tested positive for COVID-19, so Braydon Ennor has been called up to join the squad in Auckland.

    Foster said: "Joe will come in for Tuesday and Thursday's training this week, and we're really grateful to have his help.

    "We've planned for this kind of disruption and we've got back-up plans and people on standby.  Joe was one of those people we could call on."

    Foster added: "I've got every confidence in our coaching group, and in our senior leaders who are all stepping up in what’s a massive test for us.

    "Everyone has had to deal with these kinds of disruptions over the past couple of years. This is a real opportunity for the coaching group and team to pull together."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.