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Lions tour to South Africa 2021


phantom
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32 minutes ago, Super said:

Seems less games than usual?

Head coach Warren Gatland said of the schedule: "I am absolutely thrilled with how this schedule looks. Touring South Africa is always a huge challenge, not only from a rugby perspective, but also in terms of the venues and the conditions facing the players.

“We are very comfortable that three of the games, two of which are Test matches, will be played at altitude. Our schedule falls in a way to allow us to start at sea level before building up and acclimatising to the unique environment that playing at altitude presents.

“Ensuring the team are absolutely primed for the Test matches is a critical element of any Lions Tour, and I am confident the quality of opposition we will face in the opening weeks will get us ready to take on the Springboks. The Bulls, Sharks and Stormers are all tough sides and present different challenges, which is exactly what we want.

“Moreover, the venues we have agreed – some of which will be new to the Lions – open up the matches to a vast audience and will undoubtedly provide an unforgettable experience for the players and travelling supporters alike.

“We are very much looking forward to touring this wonderful country.”

The challenge in South Africa will be made greater by the fact the tourists have fewer warm-up matches to build an understanding before the Tests against the current world champions. This tour consists of eight matches in total, compared to the 10 in the previous few tours.

 

2017 had 10 games

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2013 had 10 games but one of these was against the Barbarians in Hong Kong en route to Australia

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2009 had 9 games

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2007 had 12 games but one of these was against Argentina in Cardiff before flying out

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38 minutes ago, hodge said:

Yeah does seem surprising no small midweek games during the tests. Are they going anywhere on route? Didn't they go Hong Kong or something on route to NZ for a camp/game?

FAO: @hodge

Warren Gatland has expressed his delight at getting the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour schedule he wanted - in South Africa at least.

The Lions will head south to take on the world champions in a three-Test series as part of an eight-game tour played over five weeks.

There will be only two midweek matches, the Lions having cut the games before the first two Tests in order to satisfy the Premiership clubs and trim a week off the length of the trip.

But the itinerary has been structured in such a way that the tourists begin at sea level down in Cape Town and work their way up to altitude in readiness for the first Test at the 88,000-capacity FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

The second Test will be played in Cape Town with the third at Ellis Park, these days known as Emirates Airline Park, back in JoBurg.

Gatland, whose Lions beat Australia in 2013 and drew the series with New Zealand in 2017, declared: “I am absolutely thrilled with how this schedule looks.”

He is less thrilled with Premiership Rugby’s refusal to move forward their Grand Final by a week to enable the Lions to play a June 26 warm-up match at Twickenham before flying south.

“They have said they’re not moving their final which I find very disappointing,” said Gatland. “Hopefully commonsense will prevail.

“I am saying to the clubs and the Premiership, embrace the Lions, you are going to play the world champions. There’s an opportunity for players to go on a Lions tour and come back as superstars.

“We’re missing a trick here. I cannot understand why the Premiership would not want to be more positive and be doing more.”

Negotiations continue and in the meantime Gatland, who has ended his time as Wales boss and returned home to New Zealand to coach the Chiefs, is focusing on the positives.

“Touring South Africa is always a huge challenge, not only from a rugby perspective, but also in terms of the venues and the conditions facing the players.

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1 minute ago, phantom said:

Has anyone else heard about this tour moving to the UK? 

I've been sent a fixture list for the tour being moved over here due to covid.

I wondered if it was genuine? 

Won't be publicly announced yet though 

I thought the Aussies were offering to host

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Yeah, normally three tests.

Just had an interesting chat with someone connected to the WRFU and apparently the offer has been made to bring over here, but not heard anything concrete 

A suggestion has been made for an additional test to make trip longer 

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4 minutes ago, phantom said:

Yeah, normally three tests.

Just had an interesting chat with someone connected to the WRFU and apparently the offer has been made to bring over here, but not heard anything concrete 

A suggestion has been made for an additional test to make trip longer 

Looking at the proposed teams, USA? I'd rather a Barbarians team

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56 minutes ago, Lrrr said:

Farrell surely goes for flexibility id have thought

3 lions tours under Garland and 3 welsh captains names at the outset…. Shocker 

To be fair AWJ is the outstanding candidate, and Warburton wasn't a bad choice either

Re Farrell - he has hardly played and when he has not looked in form. He doesnt get in at Fly half for me, and doesnt at centre.

Edited by TonyTonyTony
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Backs: Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Louis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams.

No Sexton.

 

Forwards: Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson.

No Billy Vunipola

Edited by Super
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14 minutes ago, TonyTonyTony said:

To be fair AWJ is the outstanding candidate, and Warburton wasn't a bad choice either

Re Farrell - he has hardly played and when he has not looked in form. He doesnt get in at Fly half for me, and doesnt at centre.

I don’t watch as much as I used to but from what I gathered AWJ’s form wasn’t the best up until the 6 nations and there were questions whether he’d start before that completion.

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1 minute ago, TonyTonyTony said:

No sexton, no Vunipola, no Sinckler, No Cian Healy, No Underhill, No Slade.

Some big and tough calls there

None of them should be there. Healy has been playing well but all the looseheads he's picked deserve it more and (apart from being the second best tighthead there) Porter can cover both sides of the scrum.

Some strange picks. Daly, VDM and Price certainly. Surprised by Conan too. Good player but not even the best number 8 at Leinster imo.

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1 minute ago, MichaelRobartes said:

None of them should be there. Healy has been playing well but all the looseheads he's picked deserve it more and (apart from being the second best tighthead there) Porter can cover both sides of the scrum.

Some strange picks. Daly, VDM and Price certainly. Surprised by Conan too. Good player but not even the best number 8 at Leinster imo.

I certainly agree about Daly. That is a big surprise, and i would have thought they would have needed Underhill's engine especially against South Africa.  Also how is Jonathan Davies not in ? Im amazed by that

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10 minutes ago, TonyTonyTony said:

I certainly agree about Daly. That is a big surprise, and i would have thought they would have needed Underhill's engine especially against South Africa.  Also how is Jonathan Davies not in ? Im amazed by that

It's possible that some of them may have refused to tour but haven't broadcast it.

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I wouldn't be shocked if Daly's kicking distance was a big factor in him travelling, South African altitude he'll be able to kick penalties from his own half comfortably, flexible in the backline so if you need a penalty to win it opens up a huge range which will put pressure on SA not to concede penalties.

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