Lions head coach Warren Gatland has already voiced concerns over sufficient preparation time for his squad. Rugby fans can book British and Irish Lions Tour Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

But as things stand, the Lions’ official confirmation of an eight-match itinerary means an opening fixture scheduled for the Saturday after England’s top two clubs go head-to-head at Twickenham.

Time concerns as British and Irish Lions dates for 2021 tour of South Africa announced
Time concerns as British and Irish Lions dates for 2021 tour of South Africa announced

There has so far been no indication from Premiership Rugby that they might be prepared to bring forward their showpiece season finale by a week in 2021, following the Guinness PRO14’s example.

It is understood that as part of their tour build-up, the Lions would like to play a game potentially on June 26 and possibly against the Barbarians – before departure. Rugby fans can book British and Irish Lions Tour Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The first Test is at FNB Stadium, which borders Soweto and was used for the 2010 football World Cup final, and the third at Ellis Park, with Cape Town Stadium – another World Cup venue – hosting the second Test. The three selected Test match arenas have a combined capacity of just under 205,000.

There are no midweek games between Tests, with the Lions also facing three Super Rugby teams – Stormers, Sharks and Bulls – plus South Africa A and a South African invitational team.

Time concerns as British and Irish Lions dates for 2021 tour of South Africa announced
Time concerns as British and Irish Lions dates for 2021 tour of South Africa announced

The schedule is two matches less than recent 10-game Lions tours, and it will encompass visits to Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Nelspruit and Pretoria.

Gatland talk

Gatland, who will be Lions boss for a third successive tour following Australia 2013 and New Zealand two years ago, said: “I am absolutely thrilled with how this schedule looks.

“We are very comfortable that three of the games, two of which are Test matches, will be played at altitude. Our schedule falls in a way to allow us to start at sea level before building up and acclimatizing to the unique environment that playing at altitude presents.

“Ensuring the team are absolutely primed for the Test matches is a critical element of any Lions tour, and I am confident the quality of opposition we will face in the opening weeks will get us ready to take on the Springboks.

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