SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux has expressed his delight after it was confirmed that the British & Irish Lions tour will go ahead as planned next year.
The highly-anticipated Lions tour to South Africa will go ahead as originally scheduled in July and August 2021.
While there was speculation that the tour may be pushed back until later next year, it has been confirmed that the first match of the showpiece will take place as planned on 3 July. Three weeks later the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg will host the first Test – a venue which has previously hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup final.
‘We are delighted to confirm the tour date remain the same,’ Roux said. ‘The whole of South Africa is looking forward to welcoming the Lions and we continue progressing our plans to provide our local supporters, as well as fans travelling from abroad, with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
‘We’ve seen with the three most recent tours, in 2009 to South Africa, 2013 to Australia and 2017 to New Zealand, that the Lions bring with them a big and passionate group of supporters.
‘We have to ensure the army of red does not dwarf our sea of green and gold, while at the same time showing our guests the best South African hospitality.
‘This will be the British & Irish Lions’ third tour since the game turned professional, with them winning in 1997 and us taking the spoils in 2009. On every occasion the Springboks took the field as reigning Rugby World Cup champions and the 2021 tour is already shaping up to be one for the ages.’
British & Irish Lions managing director Ben Calveley said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of disruption to the sporting calendar, but after extensive discussions we are now able to confirm that the Tour dates are as previously announced.
‘An enormous amount of planning, especially from a logistical perspective, goes into putting on a Lions series, so it was crucial that a decision was agreed upon in good time.
‘I am particularly pleased that we are able to provide some clarity for all those Lions supporters eager to travel to South Africa next summer.’
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