Legendary Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez believes the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa has all the makings of an iconic series.
On Wednesday, the ticket ballot purchase for the British & Irish Lions eight-match rugby extravaganza in South Africa officially opened.
The ballot will remain open from 10:30am (SA time) on 2 September and run until Wednesday, 23:59pm (SA time) on 16 September, with all who register standing an equal chance of receiving tickets during this two-week period.
Du Preez played an integral role for the Springboks in the historic 2009 series, in which the hosts triumphed 2-1.
In an interview with CLINTON VAN DER BERG for the upcoming SA Rugby magazine, Du Preez said:
‘They will be coming with revenge on their minds, especially as we felt that they believed that they were the better team in 2009. Also, the 2019 World Cup final will spur on many [Englishmen] in the team.’
Indeed, there will be fascinating similarities between the two tours, with the Lions once again set to face off against the world champions – albeit 12 years later.
The former scrumhalf says that the Boks’ crusade towards 2009 began even before the World Cup in 2007, when they also identified winning in New Zealand and beating the Lions as the big targets for the young squad.
The first Test in Durban had a strange momentum, Du Preez recalls. ‘Not being arrogant, but it felt easier than expected. However, the last 15 minutes we brought our whole bench on and the momentum shifted. It was nail-biting.’
The second Test in Pretoria couldn’t have been more dissimilar.
‘Everyone was very confident. But from kick-off it was completely different, so much more physical, as if we were playing a completely different team. They put us under a lot of pressure and it was tough staying in the game until the great escape at the end.’