Entire Lions Series to be played in Cape Town

All three test matches will now take place at the Cape Town Stadium on successive Saturdays – 24 and 31 July and 7 August.

FILE: The Springboks acknowledge the crowd after a Rugby World Cup match. Picture: @Springboks/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - SA Rugby and the British & Irish Lions confirmed on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached to conclude the Lions Series in Cape Town.

The Series was scheduled to return to Gauteng following the first Test in Cape Town on Saturday.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, SA Rugby said: “The decision to remain in Cape Town was made following extensive consultation with medical experts on the risks associated with the Delta variant of COVID-19”.

All three test matches will now take place at the Cape Town Stadium on successive Saturdays – 24 and 31 July and 7 August.

“The data pointed in only one direction,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“The Series has already been significantly disrupted by COVID-19 and a return to Gauteng at this time would only increase the risks. We now have two teams in bio secure environments without any positive cases or anyone in isolation. To now return to the highveld would expose the Series to renewed risk. Everyone wants to see the two squads, at their strongest, playing out an unforgettable Series over the next three weekends and this decision gives us the best opportunity to see that happen,” he said.

Roux thanked Gauteng and the City of Cape Town for their flexibility and understanding to accommodate the late change of plan.

“We have had great support from local government, and I’d like to thank both Gauteng and the City of Cape Town for their open-minded engagement in what has been a very challenging time. Extraordinary times have called for extraordinary measures and we have had support from all our commercial partners despite the challenges.”

Ben Calveley, MD for The British & Irish Lions, said: “We are fully supportive of this decision, which we believe to be in the best interest of the Test Series.”

The Tests kick off at 18h00 (SAST) and are live on SuperSport.

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