CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa has organized an additional sport for its squad to arrange for the British and Irish Lions take a look at collection, that means there shall be two matches back-to-back at Cape City Stadium on Saturday in one more tweak to the tour schedule.
A South Africa A lineup will play home group the Bulls earlier than the British and Irish Lions face the Stormers in what’s additionally their final warmup earlier than the primary take a look at every week later.
The Springboks are in dire want of match follow after enjoying only one take a look at — in opposition to Georgia this month — in two years since profitable the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Some gamers did get a second sport in South Africa A’s victory over the Lions in a scheduled tour match on Wednesday evening.
However a protracted layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a canceled second take a look at in opposition to Georgia this month due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the Springboks squad, has left teaching employees fretting over an absence of match health for the world champions.
“We need to be as nicely ready as attainable after we meet the British and Irish Lions,” stated South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, who needed to take over teaching duties for the squad this week whereas head coach Jacques Nienaber went via isolation protocols after being one in every of greater than a dozen Springbok gamers and backroom employees to check constructive for the virus. Nienaber has now joined the squad in Cape City.
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland this week turned down a suggestion from Erasmus for South Africa A and the Lions to play one another for a second time this weekend.
South Africa A received the primary sport 17-13.
“I don’t see it as our function to arrange them for the take a look at collection,” Gatland stated. “I believe he was making an attempt to wind us up saying we’re scared (to play South Africa A once more).”
The Lions’ tour to South Africa, which comes round as soon as each 12 years, has been continuously affected by the pandemic. All of the video games have been moved to the cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape City to restrict the Lions’ attainable publicity to the virus whereas touring.
The Lions additionally had one early tour match in opposition to the Bulls canceled, with completely different opposition stepping in, due to constructive virus checks within the Bulls squad. Each the South Africa and Lions squads have had gamers and training employees put in isolation, both for constructive virus checks or due to attainable publicity.
It’s additionally been prompt that the three-test collection, which is scheduled for one take a look at in Cape City and two in Johannesburg, shall be performed fully in Cape City due to a surge in virus circumstances within the Johannesburg area. That hasn’t been confirmed.
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