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British and Irish Lions Tour – Stick says it will be like revenge

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick says facing the British & Irish Lions was one of the best experiences of his career. He cannot wait for next year’s tour to begin.  Rugby lovers can book their Springboks Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily

The last time the Lions toured South Africa in 2009. Stick who at the time was captaining the Blitzboks to a World Sevens Series title. He had the privilege of facing the tourists in their match against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth. The King’s side was coached by current Worcester Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons.

British and Irish Lions Tour – Stick says it will be like revenge
British and Irish Lions Tour – Stick says it will be like revenge

King’s side was a largely invitational team. A bulk of players from overseas clubs, the Vodacom Bulls, and a few from the Eastern Cape. Stick’s Blitzbok teammate, Mpho Mbiyozo, would score the Kings’ only try as the Lions went on to claim a hard-fought 20-8 victory.

Stick came on to the field in the second half but says the memories of that match are still fresh in his mind.It was 11 years ago, but I remember everything from that game,’ Stick said. ‘Many players don’t get the opportunity [of playing against the Lions], but for me, even after retiring, it always brought a smile to my face.

‘We were facing the best players from Europe. Ronan O’Gara kicked 10 points, Ugo Monye scored their only try, and there were many other big names, too. To share the field with all those players created memories that will last a lifetime, and I’m grateful for that opportunity.

Stick says the Lions will have vengeance on their minds after the Springboks’ victories
Stick says the Lions will have vengeance on their minds after the Springboks’ victories

‘Around then, I was all the while playing for the Blitzboks, however, I got a call from Mr. Solomons and he requested that I play that game. Myself and Mpho Mbiyozo, who was with me at the Springbok Sevens group, just couldn’t disapprove of this chance.


‘There was one thing that made it very special to me – to play in front of our supporters in Port Elizabeth. It’s the place that made me who I am, and it’s very close to my heart.

‘We had any semblance of De Wet Barry, an extraordinary Springbok, Solly Tyibilika and Francois Hougaard – a ton of incredible players, and for me, as a youth, it was uncommon to hobnob with these folks. At that point, taking a gander at the setting.

It would have been the principal sports coordinate at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, that was worked for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. We were truly eager to be a piece of that history.’

The King's side was coached by current Worcester Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons
The King’s side was coached by current Worcester Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons

Springbok assistant coach:

Now working under Jacques Nienaber as the Springboks’ assistant coach, Stick says the Lions will have vengeance on their minds after the Springboks’ victories over Wales and England during last year’s World Cup win.

‘The World Cup final against England was very tough and we had to be at our very best – I think facing the Lions will be three times as tough. Unlike at a World Cup, where you do have easier

weeks, there will be no opportunities to take things easy when preparing for the Lions – every training session, every gym session will have to count.

‘We are the current RWC champions – we beat England in the final and Wales in the semi-final, so they are going to come hard for us. It will be like revenge.

We’re certainly not expecting anything light. The northern-hemisphere sides are very strong at the moment – all of those teams are very tough, and we’ll make sure that we’re ready for that challenge.

SportTicketExchange.com  is offering British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets so Rugby fans can get the tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.

Shaun Edwards wants to effort on France over British and Irish Lions

Former Wales defense coach Shaun Edwards asserted he would focus on France next year for the possibility of being on the British and Irish Lions coaching panel. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

The Lions are scheduled to tour South Africa in 2021 for a three-game test series in July and August, while head coach Warren Gatland is finalizing his backroom staff.

Shaun Edwards wants to effort on France over British and Irish Lions
Shaun Edwards wants to effort on France over British and Irish Lions

Edwards already has the experience of being with the Lions as a defensive coach when they last traveled to South Africa in 2009 with head coach Sir Ian McGeechan, but when Gatland took over, he opted for Andy Farrell as a defensive coach on the road. 2013 and 2017 by Australia and New Zealand respectively.

He has also worked with Gatland for Wales, where he was a defensive coach since 2008 and decided to part ways after the 2019 World Cup, after which he was assigned a similar role with France. Rugby lovers can book their Springboks Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

Shaun Edwards already has the experience of being with the Lions as a defensive coach
Shaun Edwards already has the experience of being with the Lions as a defensive coach

Shaun Edwards:

“The French Federation has shown a lot of confidence in me,” Edwards said.

They gave me a four and a half year contract. When I signed the contract, I knew the Lions would be off the radar. I know from personal experience that Lions have the highest-profile of all. Not only is he supported by three million people in Wales, but he is also fully supported by England, Ireland, and Scotland.

“Being in France makes it different. They probably don’t understand how prestigious it is to be selected for the Lions, but that’s beside the point. I’m not expecting a phone call.”

SportTicketExchange.com  is offering British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets so Rugby fans can get the tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.

British and Irish Lions Tour – Warren Gatland open to working for the Chiefs ‘for free’ if 2021 tour is cancelled

Chiefs head coach Warren Gatland has revealed he would “absolutely” like to return to the Hamilton franchise next year should the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa be cancelled. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

Gatland will leave his post with the Chiefs next season to take the helm of the Lions for a third consecutive tour. He leads the team to a series win against the Wallabies in 2013 and a series draw against the All Blacks in 2017.

British and Irish Lions Tour - Warren Gatland open to working for the Chiefs 'for free' if 2021 tour is cancelled
British and Irish Lions Tour – Warren Gatland open to working for the Chiefs ‘for free’ if 2021 tour is cancelled

He is then expected to return to see out the final two years of his four-year deal with the two-time Super Rugby champions. Maori All Blacks and Bay of Plenty coach Clayton MacMillan signing a one-year contract to fill the void left by Gatland next season.

Should the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to wreak havoc in South Africa, force the cancellation of the tour to the Republic. Gatland said he would relish the opportunity to return to the Chiefs.

The Lions tour was given the go-ahead three weeks ago. This allows some “certainty” for the multitude of fans expected to travel from the United Kingdom.

There are over half a million coronavirus cases in South Africa. There is plenty of uncertainty about the feasibility of the eight-match tour. Tour is scheduled to kick-off against the Stormers in Cape Town on July 3.

Bay of Plenty coach Clayton MacMillan signing a 1 year contract to fill the void left by Gatland
Bay of Plenty coach Clayton MacMillan signing a 1 year contract to fill the void left by Gatland

“It’s something we haven’t talked about. I’d have to do it for free, probably, I won’t get paid,” Gatland said when asked on Friday if he would like to stay involved in the Chiefs’ plans next season if the Lions tour is called off.

But absolutely. In these last seven or eight weeks, I’ve learnt a lot about the players. What sort of things you’d do differently, what things you would continue with. Working with the other coaches, hopefully, the things that we’ve learnt collectively will be beneficial for next year.

“So [if he’s with the Lions] it’s going to be a challenge. Would I like that continuity? I would. But we’re still day by day and we’re seeing what’s going to be happening in that space going forward.”

Gatland will head to the UK early next month ahead of the 2020-21 domestic season

Gatland will head to the UK early next month ahead of the 2020-21 domestic season. He begins to prepare for the tour as the Lions eye their first series win over the Springboks since 1997.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, will look to register their first Super Rugby Aotearoa win in their final game of the season against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

We are offering British and Irish Lions Tickets so Rugby fans can get British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.SportTicketExchange.com is the most reliable source to book British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets.

Jim Hamilton’s 2021 British and Irish Lions tour choice

Previous Scotland second column Jim Hamilton has picked his beginning fifteen for 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

The British and Irish Lions are one of the most acclaimed groups in the realm of rugby. At regular intervals, the British and IrishLions – chose from the national sides of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Head toward the southern side of the equator to do fight with rugby heavyweights New Zealand, Australia or South Africa.

Jim Hamilton has picked his beginning fifteen for 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa
Jim Hamilton has picked his beginning fifteen for 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa

In British and Irish Lions Tour 2021, the excitedly anticipated arrangement will visit the absolute most amazing arenas in the world game. This comes full circle in three Test matches against the recently delegated Rugby World Cup champions, the Springboks.

British and Irish Lions Tour 2021:

The eight-game visit commences on Saturday 3 July 2021. The British and Irish Lions play Vodacom Super Rugby’s DHL Stormers in Cape Town.

After three weeks the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg will have the principal Test. A setting that last facilitated the Springboks in 2013. Interested Rugby fans can book their Springboks Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

Jim Hamilton’s 2021 British and Irish Lions tour choice

The subsequent Test follows on Saturday 31 July at the Cape Town Stadium. the main Lions Test in the Mother City since 1997 – before the vacationers come back to Gauteng for the last Test on Saturday 7 August at Emirates Airline Park – the celebrated setting of the 1995 Rugby World Cup last.

We are offering British and Irish Lions Tickets so Rugby fans can get British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.SportTicketExchange.com is the most reliable source to book British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets.

British & Irish Lions Tour – Jamie Ritchie staying dedicated amid British & Irish Lions assumption

Jamie Ritchie says he is flattered by suggestions that he will start for the British & Irish Lions on next year’s tour to South Africa. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

He insists that after months without a game he cannot afford to look any further forward than Edinburgh’s forthcoming double-header against Glasgow. In recent days both Lions legend, Sir Ian McGeechan, and former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton have nominated Ritchie for a place in the tourists’ matchday 15.

British & Irish Lions Tour - Jamie Ritchie staying dedicated amid British & Irish Lions assumption
British & Irish Lions Tour – Jamie Ritchie staying dedicated amid British & Irish Lions assumption

Rugby World Cup:

Both at last year’s Rugby World Cup and during this year’s Six Nations the Edinburgh back-row forward showed the standard of play required to have a good chance of selection. And yet, after such a long lay-off, and with a huge amount of rugby to be played over the coming months, Ritchie is taking nothing at all for granted.

“It’s extremely humbling to be included in those conversations, especially from guys like Ian,” the 23-year-old said.

A lot of people can get caught up looking too far ahead. It’s a bit of a cliche, but you’re only as good as your last game. I’m concentrating on trying to get back into form. If I get picked for these Glasgow games, they’ll be opportunities for me to find a vein of form. It looks like such an incredible experience across the board.

Not just the games themselves but the whole tour, having all the fans out there and stuff. It would be an awesome thing to be involved in. If the call comes, the call comes, but I certainly won’t be holding my breath.

Sir Ian McGeechan have nominated Jamie Ritchie for a place in the tourists’ matchday 15
Sir Ian McGeechan have nominated Jamie Ritchie for a place in the tourists’ matchday 15

“It would be a huge honour. It’s something I’ve dreamt about since I was a kid, don’t get me wrong, but I need to put myself in that position and there’s a lot of rugby between now and then. Hopefully, I’ll be in with a shout, but as I say there’s a lot of rugby to be played before then. I just need to keep playing well.”

The individual form he was in before lockdown made the abrupt cessation of rugby particularly frustrating for Ritchie, who was part of the Scotland squad that travelled to Wales only to have their game called off at the 11th hour. That game is now set to be played in October as part of an extremely busy international autumn schedule.

Ritchie seems confident that, even if a bit of rustiness will be inevitable in Edinburgh’s first matches back, he should be up to speed in time for the Test campaign.

“Especially when we were down in Wales, we were full of confidence,” he continued.

We were looking to go to the Principality and get a win. I think we were all fairly confident that was going to happen. So it was frustrating. We thought we were going to be the only sports fixture in the world at one point. But unfortunately, it fell by the wayside, as did everything else.

Jamie Ritchie says he is flattered by suggestions that he will start for the British & Irish Lions
Jamie Ritchie is flattered by suggestions that he will start for the British & Irish Lions

Jamie Ritchie Form:

In terms of my form, I’m not too worried about it. What will be will be? I’m pretty sure that I’ll hopefully be able to get back into some kind of form off the back of having this time off. It’s just a case of making sure I prepare properly.With these two Glasgow games, I’m not expecting to be firing right from the off.

It sometimes takes a couple of games to get into it. There’s lots of rugby to be played, so I’m not too worried at the moment.This period is about trying to build up as much robustness as we can because when the season starts we’re probably going to be at it for a wee while without a break.

Cockers [Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill] will certainly have us ready. They are extremely physical encounters.There’s always the Scotland thing on the line. It’s an opportunity to get back into rugby. We need to be firing on all cylinders.

“Now we’ve got a date in mind it’s easy to have a focus now. I’m not looking too far past that.”

We are offering British and Irish Lions Tickets so Rugby fans can get British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.SportTicketExchange.com is the most reliable source to book British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets.

British and Irish Lions Tour – Stuart Lancaster could return to international rugby

Lions boss Warren Gatland admits he has spoken to former England head coach. Warren Gatland has a “huge amount of respect” for him. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

Stuart Lancaster is under serious consideration to returning to international rugby with the British and Irish Lions. Lancaster has not coached at Test level since his England team crashed out in the pool stages of the 2015 World Cup on home turf.

Lions boss Warren Gatland admits he a "huge amount of respect" for Stuart Lancaster.
Lions boss Warren Gatland admits he a “huge amount of respect” for Stuart Lancaster.

But so impressively has he rebuilt his reputation at Leinster. He has guided to back-to-back European Cup finals, winning in 2018. Lions boss Warren Gatland has spoken to him about next summer’s British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa.

Will Greenwood podcast:

Gatland told the Will Greenwood podcast: “I’ve spoken to Stuart and we’ve had a couple of conversations

You must show some respect for Stuart. He got done with England, at that point he’s disappeared and he’s done some expert development. There’s no uncertainty what he’s done and the effect that he’s had since his time with Leinster.

He’d state that he’s certainly improved as a mentor and I have a gigantic measure of regard for him.We met before the last visit and he addressed me about his sentiments on the Leinster players and the Irish players. He gave me knowledge into them and I valued that.

British and Irish Lions Tour - Stuart Lancaster could return to international rugby
British and Irish Lions Tour – Stuart Lancaster could return to international rugby

“He’s one person that I’ve spoken to and had a couple of conversations with him, but there are many other people that I’ll be looking to talk to.”

Gatland also gave assurances about Saracens players. Players who ply their trade in English rugby’s second tier next season will not be disadvantaged in Lions tour selection.

“It’s not as if those players aren’t experienced or haven’t achieved at the highest level,” he said.

Furthermore, a great deal of them who have been engaged with England or been on past Lions visits have been especially at the head of the game.

“So I don’t have any concerns and worries about what state they’re going to be in, because I think they’re going to get enough top-level rugby before the tour.”

We are offering British and Irish Lions Tickets so Rugby fans can get British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.SportTicketExchange.com is the most reliable source to book British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets.

British and Irish Lions sponsorship deal with Vodafone for 2021 South Africa tour

British and Irish Lions secure multi-million pound shirt sponsorship deal with Vodafone for 2021 South Africa tour. Telecommunications giant replacing Standard Life Investment’s £6.25m contract from the 2017 New Zealand tour. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

Sportsmail understands the deal is akin to Standard Life Investments had in 2017.For the 2017 New Zealand tour, they are believed to have paid around £6.25m.The Vodafone-branded Lions jerseys will be made once again by Canterbury.

British and Irish Lions sponsorship deal with Vodafone for 2021 South Africa tour

Vodafone:

The British and Irish Lions’ shirts will be adorned with Vodafone logos next summer in South Africa.  The tourists secured a multi-million pound sponsorship deal. In 2017 asset management company Standard Life Investments are believed to have paid around £6.25m to sponsor the Lions’ shirts on the New Zealand tour.

Sportsmail understands that Vodfone’s deal is of similar value a big coup for the Lions. This will help fund their challenge against the world champion Springboks in 2021. The Vodafone-branded Lions jerseys, made once again by Canterbury, will be unveiled later in the year.

The telecommunications giant already sponsor Ireland and Wasps, and claim this is ‘the most significant sponsorship Vodafone has embarked on in recent years.Their customers will be able to gain exclusive access to match tickets and merchandise.

Vodafone replacing Standard Life Investment's £6.25m contract from the 2017 New Zealand tour
Vodafone replacing Standard Life Investment’s £6.25m contract from the 2017 New Zealand tour

Ben Calveley:

Ben Calveley, Managing Director of the British & Irish Lions, said: ‘Today’s announcement represents two iconic brands coming together. Along with supporting Warren Gatland and the team, Vodafone will also help to enhance the experience of Lions supporters through the very best technology and innovation.

‘The fans are a crucial aspect of any Lions tour and we will need to ensure they feel part of the team. To ignite their incredible support, if we are to overcome the World Champions.

The Vodafone-branded Lions jerseys will be made once again by Canterbury

‘In Vodafone we have found a partner who shares our passion for connectivity. We are delighted to have them on board to enhance the experience of the Lions fans across the world. Head coach Gatland added I am excited to welcome aboard Vodafone as team sponsor for the Tour next summer.

The key to a successful Lions Tour is about players coming together quickly. Staying united behind one common goal to win a Test series against the World Champions in South Africa. I cannot think of a brand that knows more about bringing people together than Vodafone.

I am sure they will play an important role in supporting the team on and off the pitch. As well as ensuring the Tour is a unique experience for all Lions supporters.

We are offering British and Irish Lions Tickets so Rugby fans can get British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.SportTicketExchange.com is the most reliable source to book British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets.

Springboks assume to meet well-trained British and Irish Lions in 2021

As indicated by Springbok mentor Jacques Nienaber the following year’s visit through the British and Irish Lions to South Africa will represent an enormous test to his group. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

Springbok mentor Jacques Nienaber has offered gushing applause for the British and Irish Lions and their mentor Warren Gatland. Gatland will mentor the Lions for the third time when they visit South Africa in 2021. Finishing the customary set having just taken the group to Australia and his local New Zealand.

Once in the past the mentor of Wales, Gatland has taken up a situation with the Chiefs who will give him leave to guide the Lions. His time in Waikato has made an unpleasant beginning with the group neglecting to dominate a game in Super Rugby Aotearoa to date.

Springboks assume to meet well-trained British and Irish Lions in 2021
Springboks assume to meet well-trained British and Irish Lions in 2021

English AND IRISH LIONS WILL BE READY TO FACE SPRINGBOKS:

Nienaber anticipates that Gatland’s Lions should be an alternate possibility however and is savoring trying himself against the veteran mentor.

“Warren Gatland’s instructing capacity and experience, and the groups he amassed on their two past visits to Australia and New Zealand, represents itself with no issue,” said Nienaber.

The arrangement triumph in Australia was their first in quite a while, since they beat the Boks in 1997. We realize that it is so difficult to get a success or an attract New Zealand.

Warren and his training staff are knowledgeable about the Lions set-up. What is expected to meld players from four groups and four unique styles of play. What catches to press to open the feelings, ranges of abilities and snort from different nations.

“They will surely have every one of their affairs in order and it will be a huge test for us.”

Springboks assume to meet well-trained British and Irish Lions in 2021
Springboks assume to meet well-trained British and Irish Lions in 2021

ONE EYE ON THE CHIEFS:

Nienaber said that he and his specialized group had one eye on what Gatland was doing at the Chiefs to maybe gather a few bits of knowledge.

“The negative for us, is that we don’t have the foggiest idea what kind of playing style they will bring to South Africa,” said Nienaber.

“We’re watching Warren with the Chiefs right now, to perceive what bearing they are taking as he would bring a portion of that over to SA one year from now. There surely is sufficient interest and storylines included that makes for one gigantic conflict one year from now.”

The British and Irish Lions are set to play eight matches in all in South Africa with five visit games increasing the three Tests.

The principal Test in the three-coordinate arrangement is scheduled to happen on Saturday 24 July 2021 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. After seven days they will confront the Springboks again at Newlands before the arrangement wraps up back in Johannesburg at Ellis Park.

We are offering British And Irish Lions Tickets so Rugby fans can get British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.SportTicketExchange.com is the most reliable source to book British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets.

British and Irish Lions Tour – Hamish Watson discusses the 2021 tour on Looseheadz x TRU Podcast

Scotland international Hamish Watson says it is ‘nice’ to see his name mentioned to next summer’s British and Irish Lions tour. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

Hamish Watson believes any player with selection ambitions must focus on their performances for their club and country. Watson, 28, has been one of Scotland’s key figures over the last three years .The back-rower was in the impressive form before the coronavirus pandemic halted rugby.

Various articles discussing the Lions squad ahead of next year’s trip to South Africa have included Watson’s name. The Edinburgh star isn’t looking too far ahead. Speaking on the Looseheadz x TRU Podcast, he said: “Now it [the British and Irish Lions tour] is coming around again, you sort of forget about it.

British and Irish Lions Tour - Hamish Watson discusses the 2021 tour on Looseheadz x TRU Podcast
British and Irish Lions Tour – Hamish Watson discusses the 2021 tour on Looseheadz x TRU Podcast

Forget what happened three years ago, but now it is coming around again. It wouldn’t be true if I said it wasn’t in the back of most rugby players’ heads that they want to be on a tour at some point. It is never something I grew up wanting to do. I was never a young kid saying ‘I want to be a Lion’.

I always wanted to grow up and play for Scotland. You have got to be playing bloody well for Scotland this year and to do that. You have got to play well for your club so there are a lot of things that have to happen first. We even get to that point of selection [for the Lions] and whether you are good enough to be picked.

“You have got to keep up your performances. It is not something I am thinking massively about. You see things and it is nice to have your name included in the ‘maybes’, but that position is hotly contested. There are a lot of good sevens and back-rowers so we will just have to wait and see.”

Six Nations Tournament:

Watson was part of a Scotland side that was generating momentum in the Six Nations before Covid-19 after wins over Italy and France. Now his attention will turn back to domestic duties with the Pro14 season set to resume next month. Edinburgh will play rivals, Glasgow, on August 22nd and 28th at Murrayfield.

Richard Cockerill’s men currently sit on top of Conference B with the semi-finals in their sights. In addition to this, Edinburgh is also preparing for a European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bordeaux Begles. Watson hopes the side can end the campaign with a flourish.

Watson was part of a Scotland side in the Six Nations after wins over Italy and France
Watson was part of a Scotland side in the Six Nations after wins over Italy and France

He added It is exciting. I just hope we don’t see a second spike and it all puts stuff on the back burners again. That is something obviously everyone in the sport is worried about. We can just control what we can and get back to training to do what is necessary.

When the coronavirus sort of hit, it was a bit gutting for everyone at Edinburgh. We were probably having the best season we have had in years. We are in the quarter-finals in Europe, top of our conference in the Pro14 and sort of flying so we are in a really good spot.

“I think we need to win one of these Glasgow fixtures to get a home semi-final and the benefits of winning those games are huge. Those derby games against Glasgow are always tough.”

We are offering British And Irish Lions Tickets so Rugby fans can get British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets through our trusted online ticketing market place.SportTicketExchange.com is the most reliable source to book British And Irish Lions Tour Tickets.

British and Irish Lions Tour – Chance Would Be a Good Thing

The British and Irish Lions have confirmed that their 2021 tour of South Africa will go ahead as planned. Whilst the news has been met with joy in England, Wales and Ireland, the atmosphere in Scotland is somewhat more sombre. Rugby lovers can book their South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on discounted prices easily.

It is perhaps an understatement to say that Scottish rugby fans have become disillusioned with the Lions in recent years, particularly under the stewardship of Warren Gatland. Gatland, who returns as coach next year, has only selected five Scottish players into his two original squads.

British and Irish Lions Tour Tickets - Chance Would Be a Good Thing
British and Irish Lions Tour – Chance Would Be a Good Thing

Further four players joining as injury/withdrawal replacements. Of the 44 players he has handed Test caps to, Richie Gray was the only Scot, and he only played for 13 minutes. It is understandable why so few Scottish players were included in the 2013 tour but in the run-up to the 2017 tour.

Scotland had beaten Gatland’s Wales and Ireland in the Six Nations almost made the semi-final of the World Cup two years prior and went on to beat Australia in Sydney. Yet Gatland picked fewer Scots in his original squad than in 2013. All things considered, there may be pressure on Gatland to increase support in Scotland for the Lions brand.

This has been struggling to find its place in the professional game and could be under further threat if a global rugby calendar is adopted. The simplest way to do this: pick more Scottish players. With that in mind, here are my favourites to tour with the Lions next year and their chance of touring.

Richie Gray was the only Scot, and he only played for 13 minutes

Dead Certs

Stuart Hogg

The only way Hogg will not be picked is if he is injured. On recent form, he is the best Full Back option at Gatland’s disposal. Moving swiftly along.

On recent form, Stuart Hogg is the best Full Back option at Gatland’s disposal

Hamish Watson

Gatland picked eight Back Row players in his original 2017 squad. Whilst this is an area of immense depth, Watson is probably the second-best Openside after Justin Tipuric. James Haskell and Mike Tindall selected him in their Test team on House of Rugby, showing how highly thought of he is.

High Chance

Rory Sutherland

Sutherland was the form Loosehead from the Six Nations. If I were picking the squad today I have no doubts that he would go. However, we are a year out and Sutherland has had his problems with injury. His chance rests on keeping his form high and injuries at bay.

Stuart McInally/Fraser Brown

I have had to group these two as they so often are for Scotland. Gatland picked three Hookers in his original 2017 squad. I believe Jamie George and Ken Owens are already on the plane.

This leaves one space free. The Irish Hookers are too young and inexperienced for me so I think it will be a shootout between these two but at least one of them is very likely to go.

50/50s

Finn Russell

Leaving Russell at home could be the final nail in the coffin for the Lions

It pains me to give Finn such a low chance. Maybe I am being too cynical but I think Gatland will stick with the three Fly Halves from 2017. Farrell and Sexton are highly likely to go and Gatland knows Biggar inside out. Russell’s falling out with Townsend won’t help much either.

Leaving Russell at home could be the final nail in the coffin for the Lions in Scotland so perhaps this may swing the balance in his favour.

Darcy Graham

The Prince of Hawick could easily join the King if he rebounds from his injury troubles and finds top form. Gatland took seven Back Three players in 2017. Three outright Wingers, one outright Full Back and Three players who can cover all three positions. Graham’s time covering Full Back for Edinburgh may give him the edge over players like Stockdale or Nowell should he hit top form.

Zander Fagerson

Tadgh Furlong and Kyle Sinckler are certainties to tour. This leaves one space open at Tighthead. Fagerson was quality during the Six Nations with the Scottish scrum matching up to the opposition. If Fagerson can keep this up he has every chance.

Outside Bets

Jonny Gray

Gray Jr. has been an excellent servant for Scotland over recent years, always putting a shift in defence. However, Second Row is the Lions strongest area and his lack of edge in the attack may not be enough to see him on the plane. Playing in Exeter could change this so watch this space.

British and Irish Lions Tour Tickets - Chance Would Be a Good Thing
Ali Price has a fight on his hands with Gareth Davies, Ben Youngs and John Cooney

Ali Price

Three scrum-halves were originally taken in 2017. Two places are likely to be filled by Tomos Williams and Connor Murray. Price has a fight on his hands with Gareth Davies, Ben Youngs and John Cooney but he has a chance to sneak in.

Jamie Ritchie

Unfortunately for Ritchie, who is an exceptional talent with an aggressive edge suited to playing the Springboks, the back row may just have to much depth. His inexperience at the top level will likely count against him and he may have to bide his time till 2025.

Dark Horses

Sam Johnson

With Hadleigh Parkes leaving Wales for Japan, there are few specialists Inside Centres to pick from. With Owen Farrell likely to be deployed at 10, only Bundee Aki remains as a specialist 12. Sam Johnson could find his way on to the tour if he hits form.

Duhan van der Merwe

Who better to take on a team of huge, hulking South Africans than your very own huge, hulking South African. Duhan has been immense for Edinburgh over the past three seasons and if he carries that form into a Scotland shirt, he has the potential to be a Test starter.

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