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Lions tour to go ahead as planned

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15th July, 2020
7

The British and Irish Lions’ tour to South Africa next European summer is to go ahead as scheduled, it has been announced.

Warren Gatland’s Lions will play the opening match of their eight-fixture tour when they face Stormers at Cape Town Stadium on July 3, with the first of the three Tests against the world-champion Springboks taking place at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium three weeks later.

“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,” Lions managing director Ben Calveley said in a statement.

“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.”

The second Test is scheduled for July 31 in Cape Town and the third for August 7, back in Johannesburg at Emirates Airline Park.

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“Lions Tours are always unique, but to take on the world champions in their backyard will be something very special,” coach Gatland said.

“Having toured there in 2009 I know the scale of the task ahead of us – playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as playing at altitude, while the Boks will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated.

“History tells you it’s a tough place to tour, but I am confident that we can go there and win.”

© AAP