It has been a 12-year wait, and every South African has patiently anticipated the upcoming British and Irish Lions Tour 2021. Naturally, the current home of the world champions, South Africa, will be seeking to replicate their 2009 success by pulling off another spectacular triumph.
Twelve years prior, in what many superstitious spectators acknowledge, The Springboks beat England in the Rugby World Cup Final. With the pride of the United Kingdom, The British and Irish Lions toured South Africa, just two years after. We all recall the tightly contested 2009 tour, where South Africa impressed their home crowd with a 2-1 victory for the series. Can The Lions finally get one up on The Springboks in the British and Irish Lions Tour 2021?
Ticket Prices Controversy:
The major debate that has started to surface in the host country of South Africa is the pricing of the tickets for test matches. Unofficial reports have been released earlier this week stating tickets are due to range from ZAR 500-ZAR 3000 (+-£25-£150), though this could well change. As the lowest category of tickets is affordable to the local supporters, the highest category seems to be very high and way out of budget for the majority of local South Africans. Do you feel the higher-end tickets for the British and Irish Lions Tour 2021 are solely aimed at tourists, rather than local supporters?
British and Irish Lions Tour 2017:
The rugby world will come to a standstill as many followers believe The Lions can pull off the impossible as they tackle The Springboks next year. Their last tour in New Zealand ended in 2017 with a draw; one test a piece. Though many enthusiasts were not willing to give The Lions any chance, The British and Irish Lions left New Zealand with their heads held high as their opponents failed to secure the test series victory.
British and Irish Lions Tour 2021:
South Africa poses an intense threat, as the build-up fixtures and three tests guarantee that they are in for a gruelling experience on the British and Irish Lions Tour 2021. They’ll be starting off in Cape Town playing against the Western Cape’s Stormers, all the way to Pretoria where they are due to play The Blue Bulls before they compete in the ultimate three test match series. An intense task lays ahead as The British and Irish Lions Tour 2021 features playing five of the best domestic sides from South Africa, as well as a daunting three tests versus the current World Champions. Will The Lions roar away with the win or will The Springboks and another win to their cabinet?
The British and Irish Lions Tour 2021 brings excitement as the series will be the true test of character for newly appointed Springboks Head Coach, Jacques Nienaber. Coach Nienaber displays the true underdog rugby story. He started out as a physiotherapist in his early years with The Free State Cheetah’s Rugby Union and years later, has been named as Head Coach of The Springboks from 2020. Will The British and Irish Lions Tour 2021 be too overwhelming for the newly appointed Springbok Head Coach?
Jacques Nienaber comes up against the more experienced Warren Gatland, who has by far the more superior international coaching resume. Coach Gatland has led major international rugby sides such as; Ireland and Wales and has been the Head Coach of The British and Irish Lions on two previous tours. However, despite his seemingly impressive rugby resume and vast experience, Warren Gatland recently failed to record a single win for The Waikato Chiefs in the inaugural Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament earlier this year. Did 2020 expose faults in Coach Gatland’s brand of rugby?
The Recent History of The British and Irish Lions in South Africa:
The last victorious British and Irish Lions series win in South Africa dates back to 1997. In a time that was of enormous change for South Africa, and its rugby, it would appear that the British and Irish Lions were far superior at the time, and pulled off a memorable test series performance. Since then, very few Northern Hemisphere sides have been successful in South Africa in winning a three-game test series. Will The British and Irish Lions Tour 2021 be the curse breaker for all Northern Hemisphere sides being unable to triumph in South Africa?
As the world slowly reopens after its global lockdown, and the sports industry is in preparations to restart, we are set for an incredibly exciting (and well-needed!) British and Irish Lions Tour 2021. There is no doubt it will be a fierce contest with great sportsmanship and camaraderie. The World Champions are still on their Rugby World Cup 2019 high and will go into this series with plenty of confidence. However, The Lions do not seem to be the side that will be easily intimidated by this passionate rugby-loving nation.
With that being said, I feel the three-test series will go in favour of The Springboks, with 2 victories to 1.
What are your predictions for The British and Irish Lions Tour 2021? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us on @worldinsport for more rugby-related news!
Image credit: ewn.co.za