Wanted | Suitable opponents for Springboks ahead of Lions tour

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The Springbok management team is continuing to look for suitable opposition to help prepare the world champions for their mid-year series against the British & Irish Lions.

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That is, should the tour go ahead in 2021.

LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKELY TOUR WON’T GO AHEAD

Due to a recent worrying spike in Covid-19 cases in both the UK and South Africa, the emergence of a mutant strain of the virus in both countries and the fact that South Africa isn’t expected to get a vaccine until the ‘second quarter’ of the year (April) at the earliest, it is looking more and more likely that the tour won’t take place as scheduled.

A decision will be made by February whether to postpone the tour to the same window in 2022.

However, SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and manager Charles Wessels are still looking to organise warm-up matches for the Springboks in case the tour does go ahead as planned.

While Argentina and the Barbarians have been mentioned as options, Nienaber told Sunday’s Rapport newspaper that the opposition would have to prepare the Springboks for the type of rugby they can expect from the Lions.

RASSIE IS INCREDIBLY GOOD – NIENABER

‘Whatever matches we arrange, we must prepare for the Lions’ tour. If you think [Lions coach] Warren Gatland will coach his team to play Barbarians rugby, we can play against the Barbarians. But if you think he’s going to dominate, with good solid facets and kicks, you need to make sure you practice against a team that has those qualities.

‘This is an area in which Rassie is incredibly good,’ Nienaber added.

‘Our preparation will be similar to what we would expect from the Lions.’

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