The British & Irish Lions and SA Rugby have confirmed they are aligned on delivering the series in South Africa in the scheduled playing window.
The Lions board confirmed its preference to SA Rugby on Monday evening, prior to follow-up meetings earlier on Tuesday.
‘After reviewing information relating to the various contingency scenarios being considered, I can confirm that the Board’s intended position is for the Tour to go ahead as scheduled in South Africa in 2021,’ said Jason Leonard, chairman of the British & Irish Lions.
‘We acknowledge that there is a significant amount of work still to be undertaken to deliver a robust Covid-19 counter-measure plan to ensure a successful, safe and uninterrupted Tour. SA Rugby will have our full support to help implement this plan.’
The exact schedule/venues are to be confirmed and, while the series may have to take place behind closed doors, there is hope that some capacity for fans could be accommodated.
Here is what the original schedule looked like:
3 July – Stormers vs British and Irish Lions; Cape Town; Cape Town Stadium
7 July – South Africa Invitational vs British and Irish Lions; Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth); Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
10 July – Cell C Sharks vs British and Irish Lions; Durban; Jonsson Kings Park
14 July – South Africa A vs British and Irish Lions; Mbombela (Nelspruit); Mbombela Stadium
17 July – Vodacom Bulls vs British and Irish Lions; Pretoria; Loftus Versfeld
24 July – Springboks vs British and Irish Lions; Johannesburg; FNB Stadium
31 July – Springboks vs British and Irish Lions; Cape Town; Cape Town Stadium
7 August – Springboks vs British and Irish Lions; Johannesburg; Emirates Airline Park