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British & Irish Lions

Lions Tour Schedule Revised

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MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images
The British & Irish Lions and SA Rugby have confirmed a revised Castle Lager Lions Series fixture list and venues.

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 COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule accommodates stable team bases and training venues and significantly reduces travel.

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.

Lions Tour Schedule 2021

  • Saturday 3 July: Emirates Lions v The British & Irish Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg) KO 18h00 (SAT) / 17h00 (BST)
  • Wednesday 7 July: Cell C Sharks v The British & Irish Lions (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg) KO 20h00 (SAT) / 19h00 (BST)
  • Saturday 10 July: Vodacom Bulls v The British & Irish Lions (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria) KO 18h00 (SAT) / 17h00 (BST)
  • Wednesday 14 July: South Africa ‘A’ v The British & Irish Lions (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town) KO 20h00 (SAT) / 19h00 (BST)
  • Saturday 17 July: DHL Stormers v The British & Irish Lions (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town) KO 18h00 (SAT) / 17h00 (BST)
  • Saturday 24 July: Springboks v The British & Irish Lions (1st Test, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town) KO 18h00 (SAT) / 17h00 (BST)
  • Saturday 31 July: Springboks v The British & Irish Lions (2nd Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg) KO 18h00 (SAT) / 17h00 (BST)
  • Saturday 7 Aug: Springboks v The British & Irish Lions (3rd Test, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg) KO 18h00 (SAT) / 17h00 (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. For more information, including ticketing enquiries, please visit: www.lionsrugby.com

“The Covid-19 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 Lions managing director Ben Calveley.

“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.

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British & Irish Lions

VODAFONE RELEASES STRIKING IMAGERY OF BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SHOWCASING RALLYING FAN MESSAGES FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

New images highlight important role of tech in connecting the players to the fans during 2021 Tour, the most connected yet

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Mads Perch for Vodafone

Vodafone, Lead Partner of the British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa, has today released a series of powerful new images of ambassadors, Maro Itoje and first-time Lions Hamish Watson and Louis Rees-Zammit. The images see emotive and personal social media messages of support from Lions fans across the four nations projected onto each of the star rugby players.

Vodafone and the British and Irish Lions are brands united by a shared commitment to connect people to each other and the things they love. The new imagery is a powerful demonstration of how Vodafone is bringing fans closer to the 2021 Tour and the squad than ever before through its digital-first campaign.

The images have been released ahead the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup which takes place on Saturday 26 June at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.  The messages of encouragement from fans will help to motivate players as they gear up for the game against Japan and prepare to leave the UK for the Tour – letting them know that the four nations are behind them, despite fans being unable to travel to South Africa this Summer. 

The imagery shows how the power of the connectivity can bring players and fans together, which is more important than ever with no travelling fans.

Max Taylor, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK, said: “We are excited to be able to give Lions fans and players an opportunity to unite and connect ahead of the upcoming Tour.  This is more important now than it has ever been. We hope these messages will show the players that even though British & Irish Lions fans can’t be there, they’re still very much cheering them on”.

Maro Itoje said: “Fans are such an important part of any sport and one of the biggest, if not the biggest, reason why most of us play. With no fans there is an evident missing piece. It’s incredible seeing how much support we have as a team and it is a huge boost for the whole squad as we head to South Africa.”

Hamish Watson said: “We’ve all missed having fans there with us – they really do have the power to inspire us. So being able to receive these incredible fan messages has been a great boost. It has spurred me and the team on even more to do them proud. We love to the see the messages so please keep the support coming while we are on tour.”


Louis Rees-Zammit said: “It’s been a tough year not being able to connect with fans physically. So, we are grateful for the power of technology and social media that has allowed us to stay connected and motivate us for this upcoming tour. This is my first Lions Tour and the support so far has been overwhelming.”

Vodafone has named six official player ambassadors spanning all four nations for the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa this Summer – Captain Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Hamish Watson (Scotland), Tadgh Furlong (Ireland), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales) and Maro Itoje (England).  Other partnership ambassadors include Maggie Alphonsi, Emily Scarratt and ex Lions legends Sir Ian McGeechan, Sam Warburton, Jeremy Guscott and Paul O’Connell.

Maro Itoje, Hamish Watson and Louis Rees-Zammit are official Vodafone ambassadors for the 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa. Vodafone is using the power of connectivity to bring fans closer to the Tour than ever before. Download the official Lions app, powered by Vodafone to start the experience now.

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British & Irish Lions

Another Lions star ruled out of Japan clash with injury

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The tighthead prop was due to start at BT Murrayfield Stadium for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup but was unable to train this morning and is replaced in the starting XV by Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland).

“It’s a shame for Zander not to be able to run out at Murrayfield as a Lion, but he’s not quite one hundred percent,” said Lions head coach Warren Gatland,

“He’ll get a chance to start in the next two games and stake a claim for a Test spot in South Africa, so it’s not worth the risk.”

Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) is added to the bench to complete the matchday 23.

On Wednesday the Lions were forced into another change, with Hamish Watson ruled out with concussion and replaced by Justin Tipuric in the backrow.

The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup will be shown live and exclusively on Channel 4 on Saturday 26 June (kick off 3pm).

THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS vs JAPAN – The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833

14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)

13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824

12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821

9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829

3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818

4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808

5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761

6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)

7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) – Back row #786

8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

Replacements:

16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819

17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)

18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814

19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826

20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779

21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)

22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780

23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816

Saturday 26 June 2021

BT Murrayfield Stadium

Kick-off: 3pm, live on channel 4

Source – British & Irish Lions

** EXCLUSIVE DAVID LLOYD OFFER FOR ULSTER RUGBY FANS **

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British & Irish Lions

Lions v Japan: Concussion rules out Scotland star

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MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) has been replaced by Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) in the starting line-up for this Saturday’s clash with Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup. 

The Scottish loose forward suffered a concussion in training yesterday and will begin the graduated return-to-play protocol.

The Lions take on Japan at 3pm, live on Channel 4 in the first game of their 2021 Tour.

THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS vs JAPAN – The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833

14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)

13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824

12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821

9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829

3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)

4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808

5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761

6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)

7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) – Back row #786

8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

Replacements:

16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819

17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)

18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818

19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826

20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779

21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)

22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780

23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816

Source – British & Irish Lions

** EXCLUSIVE DAVID LLOYD OFFER FOR ULSTER RUGBY FANS **

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