A Springbok-lock-sized Challenge
The British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa will start on 3rd July with a warm up game against the DHL Stormers at the Cape Town Stadium. There will be a further 4 warm-up matches before the Test series against the Springboks begins on 24th July at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. The 2nd and 3rd tests will take place in Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively.
|3 July||DHL Stormers||Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town|
|7 July||South Africa Invitational||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|10 July||Cell C Sharks||Jonsson Kings Park, Durban|
|14 July||South Africa ‘A’ Team||Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit|
|17 July||Vodacom Bulls||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria|
|24 July||First Test v Springboks||Soccer City, Johannesburg|
|31 July||Second Test v Springboks||Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town|
|7 August||Third Test v Springboks||Ellis Park, Johannesburg|
IN the professional era, each time the British & Irish Lions have toured South Africa, the Springboks have been reigning World Champions. Following the Springboks victory over England in the World Cup Final in Tokyo, the 2021 squad will face the same challenge. With two of the three test matches being played at altitude the task will be all the greater. Expect Warren Gatland to ask Eddie Jones how not to prepare for a game up high!
An Historic Tour
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 and Irish tourists return to Gauteng for the final Test on Saturday 7 August at Emirates Airline Park – or Ellis Park as we really like to call it.
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 since rugby turned professional in 1995. This easily surpasses the 192,972 people who attended the three Tests in Australia in 2013.
Aside from being there to witness the biggest tour in Lions history a rugby tour to South Africa has so much to offer. Between tour matches there will be opportunities to, amongst other things, tour the Garden Route, taste wine in Stellenbosch, take an excursion to the battlefields and enjoy a safari. That’s before you even had the chance to enjoy Cape Town and the famous South African hospitality.