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Lions' Tour in 2021 could be one for the ages

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Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland

SPORTSFILE

Warren Gatland

The 2021 Lions Tour to South Africa will go ahead as planned after organisers opted against moving it to later in the year.

The South African union had publicly admitted that they would be willing to host the Lions away from its traditional summer date, if it meant that the Tour went ahead.

That idea has now been put to bed after both parties confirmed that the Tour will take place as scheduled in July and August next year.

Warren Gatland will lead the Lions in the home of the world champions as a mouthwatering Tour lies ahead in South Africa.

The Lions will take on the Springboks in three Tests, the first of which will take place in Johannesburg on July 24.

The focus will then switch to Cape Town for the second Test the following week, before the Series is rounded off in Johannesburg on August 7.

The eight-game Tour will see the Lions take on a host of South African sides, starting with the Stormers on July 3.

The Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. They will return to face the Boks for the first time since the infamous 2009 Tour.

"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," Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO, said.

"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."

Lions 2021 tour schedule:

Sat. 3 July: v DHL Stormers, Cape Town

Wed. 7 July: v South Africa 'Invitational', Port Elizabeth

Sat. 10 July: v Cell C Sharks, Durban

Wed. 14 July: v South Africa 'A' Nelspruit

Sat. 17 July: v Vodacom Bulls, Pretoria

Sat. 24 July (first Test): v South Africa, Johannesburg

Sat. 31 July (second Test): v South Africa, Cape Town

Sat. 7 August (third Test): v South Africa, Johannesburg