B&I Lions to face the Sharks again on Saturday

SA Rugby and the Lions have agreed to replace the Bulls with the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday after the former was ruled out because of COVID-19 infections.

The British & Irish Lions in a huddle after their victory after the Sharks on 7 July 2021. Picture: @lionsofficial/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The British & Irish Lions will play back-to-back matches against the Sharks.

SA Rugby and the Lions have agreed to replace the Bulls with the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (kick-off 18h00 SAT, 17h00 BST) after the former was ruled out because of COVID-19 infections.

The Lions beat the Sharks 54-7 in Johannesburg on Wednesday in the second match of the Lions Series. The tourists opened their account at the same venue with a 56-14 victory over the Sigma Lions on Saturday.

“The choice of the Cell C Sharks was dictated by the fact that they have been in a bubble, have returned negative tests throughout and were prepared to take on the fixture,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“No other team in the country could meet those conditions right now without going into a five-day lockdown. It is not an ideal situation, but COVID-19 has made sure that we do not live in an ideal world.”

The change has meant that the Sharks’ match against the Sigma Lions in the Currie Cup on Saturday has been cancelled, with a decision on the points allocation to be confirmed.

“We’re very grateful to the Sharks for agreeing to play us again this Saturday at Loftus Versfeld,” said Ben Calveley, managing director for the British & Irish Lions.

“We have further COVID-19 testing scheduled for today and tomorrow. The results of those tests will determine whether we will be able to fulfill this fixture, but, as it stands, we are optimistic.

“We remain committed to the tour in South Africa and determined to rise to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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