(16 May 2021) The fixture list and venues for the Castle Lager Lions Series has been revised with a schedule that accommodates stable team bases and training venues, whilst significantly reducing travel.
All eight matches of the tour will be played in Gauteng or Cape Town to minimise the risks of disruption that could be caused by the COVID19 pandemic.
The Castle Lager Lions Series will now kick off in Gauteng, rather than Cape Town, with three matches against provincial opposition before moving to Cape Town for two more warm-up matches before the first Test at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, 24 July.
The series then returns to Johannesburg for the second and third Tests at the FNB Stadium.
There is one team change in the revised schedule with the Emirates Lions replacing the SA Invitational team. The adjustment was made to reduce the risks associated with drawing a squad from around the country.
SA Rugby is organising all games in the schedule on the basis they will take place behind closed doors.
Saturday, 3 July: Emirates Lions v British & Irish Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg) 18:00 (SAT) / 17:00 (BST)
Wednesday, 7 July: Cell C Sharks v British & Irish Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg) 20:00 (SAT) / 19:00 (BST)
Saturday, 10 July: Vodacom Bulls v British & Irish Lions (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria) 18:00 (SAT) / 17:00 (BST)
Wednesday, 14 July: South Africa ‘A’ v British & Irish Lions (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town) 20:00 (SAT) / 19:00 (BST)
Saturday, 17 July: DHL Stormers v British & Irish Lions (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town) 18:00 (SAT) / 17:00 (BST)
Saturday, 24 July: Springboks v British & Irish Lions (1stTest, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town) 18:00 (SAT) / 17:00 (BST)
Saturday, 31 July: Springboks v British & Irish Lions (2ndTest, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg) 18:00 (SAT) / 17:00 (BST)
Saturday, 7 Aug: Springboks v British & Irish Lions (3rdTest, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg) 18:00 (SAT) / 17:00 (BST)
The British & Irish Lions Test match against Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday, 26 June for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup will continue as scheduled. However, owing to the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, a decision on crowd size will be made nearer the time of the event and in line with the latest Scottish Government guidance.
“The COVID19 pandemic has caused considerable disruption to the global sporting calendar, but after discussions with our partners at SA Rugby, we are very pleased to be able to give confirmation of the revised tour schedule,” said Ben Calveley, The British & Irish Lions Managing Director. “While things will undoubtedly look different to a typical Lions Tour, together with SA Rugby we are determined to deliver an uninterrupted Series for the players who will take the field, as well as the many millions of people watching at home. We would like to thank all Lions supporters for their patience and understanding as we continue to navigate our way through the impact of the pandemic, and also extend our enormous gratitude to our commercial partners for their incredible ongoing support.”
All ticket holders for the original schedule will receive a full refund.
SA Rugby has also confirmed that SA resident ticket holders would have first right to purchase tickets for the revised schedule if restrictions on attendance at sports events are lifted.
Supporters who have booked ticket-inclusive packages through Lions Rugby Travel and its appointed Official Sub-agents should be contacted separately with the options available, as have those who had successfully purchased Test match tickets via the Lions ticket ballot.