• Du Preez: Boks have to be at their best to beat Lions

    Former Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez says the British & Irish Lions have ‘all the ingredients’ to make the 2021 tour of South Africa successful.

    Du Preez was a major part of the Springbok team which claimed a 2-1 series victory over the Lions during their previous tour of South Africa in 2009.

    Since then, the Lions have come under the tutelage of former Wales coach Warren Gatland, who has taken the invitational team to a series win over Australia in 2013 and a drawn series with the All Blacks in 2017 and will be coaching the team again in South Africa.

    Gatland’s Wales team also had a good record against the Springboks, having gone on a four-match winning run between 2016 and 2018, which South Africa managed to bring to an end in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals.

    Speaking to Rugby World magazine, Du Preez said Gatland’s knowledge combined with the ominous form of the United Kingdom nations mean that the Springboks will have to be at their very best if they hope to claim a series victory in July.

    ‘The Lions weren’t ready for that first Test in 2009. I doubt they will make the same mistake in 2021,’ Du Preez said.

    ‘Warren Gatland has been successful on past tours to Australia and New Zealand. He knows what’s required in South Africa, having been part of the coaching team in 2009 and having been head coach of Wales for so long.

    ‘England have been playing good rugby and winning big matches. Ireland have a lot of good players, and there are a few from Scotland, too. Gatland will know how to get the best out of the Welsh players.

    ‘The Lions certainly have all the ingredients for a successful tour. The Boks will have to be at their very best to come out on top.’

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    Photo: Gallo Images

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    Dylan Jack