The British & Irish Lions will face the Boks in Tests at the FNB Stadium, Cape Town Stadium and Ellis Park when they tour South Africa in 2021.
The highly anticipated series is set to make history as the Lions embark on an eight-game tour of South Africa. Warren Gatland’s side are expected to play in front of the largest-ever crowd for a Lions Test since the game turned professional, after the itinerary was jointly announced on Wednesday.
The tour will span the length and breadth of South Africa, visiting some of the most impressive stadiums in world sport and culminating in three Test matches against the newly crowned World Cup-champion Springboks.
FNB Stadium in Johannesburg will host the first Test on Saturday, 24 July and with a capacity of approximately 88,000 spectators, a sell-out crowd would be higher than the 84,188 who witnessed the series decider against the Wallabies in Sydney in 2001.
The second Test follows a week later at the Cape Town Stadium – the first Lions Test in the Mother City since 1997 – before the British tourists return to Gauteng for the final Test on Saturday, 7 August at Emirates Airline Park.
The combined capacity for the three Test venues is just below 205,000, which could make the three Tests on the 2021 tour the best attended in the professional era, potentially surpassing the 192,972 people who attended the three Tests in Australia in 2013.
The eight-game schedule includes six weekend fixtures – three against Vodacom Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers, and two midweek fixtures against an invitational side in Port Elizabeth and South Africa ‘A’ in Nelspruit.
The British & Irish Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first tour taking place in 1891. In that time, the Lions have won four Test series, lost eight and drawn one. Their overall record against the Springboks is: played 46, won 17, lost 23 and drawn six.
Full 2021 tour schedule
Saturday, 3 July: British & Irish Lions vs Stormers – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Wednesday, 7 July: British & Irish Lions v SA ‘Invitational’ – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 10 July: British & Irish Lions vs Sharks – Kings Park, Durban
Wednesday 14 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa ‘A’ – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Saturday, 17 July: British & Irish Lions vs Vodacom Bulls – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday, 24 July (1st Test): Springboks vs British & Irish Lions – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
Saturday, 31 July (2nd Test): Springboks vs British & Irish Lions – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Saturday, 7 August (3rd Test): Springboks vs British & Irish Lions – Ellis Park, Johannesburg.
Photo: Gallo Images