Springboks such as Kwagga Smith and Cheslin Kolbe may need to rethink plans to make themselves for Olympic Sevens selection after confirmation that the postponed Summer Games will clash with the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour.
The Olympics was originally scheduled to open on 24 July 2020, but organisers were forced to postpone it after pressure from sports federations and athletes due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the new dates (23 July until 8 August) will come conflict with the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.
The Lions play their first Test match against the Springboks on 24 July in Johannesburg, before the two teams clash again in Cape Town on 31 July, with the final Test scheduled for 7 August.
That could spell bad news for the Blitzboks, who will be one of 12 men’s teams targeting Olympic gold next year.
The Blitzboks would have been hoping to use a few converted fifteens players, with Smith and Kolbe among the Springbok regulars who were linked with a return to the sevens set-up.
Smith and Kolbe will undoubtedly also target playing for the Springboks in the Lions series – which comes to South Africa only once every 12 years – and will now have commit to one of the teams.
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