Big Summer Ahead For The British And Irish Lions

Big Summer Ahead For The British And Irish Lions The British and Irish Lions return to the field this summer when they travel to South Africa to play three Test […]

Big Summer Ahead For The British And Irish Lions

The British and Irish Lions return to the field this summer when they travel to South Africa to play three Test matches against the Springboks. It will be a tough test for Warren Gatland’s side as they are taking on the number one team in the world rankings.

It has been 12 years since the Lions have toured South Africa. They were involved in a thrilling series with New Zealand back in 2017 where they shared the trophy after a tied game in the decisive Test match.
The Lions have won just one of their last five series now so Gartland will be hoping his side can give their supporters something to cheer about this year. They are the 4/6 favourites in the sports betting for the series, with the hosts the underdogs at 5/4.
By the time they face South Africa, the Lions should be well warmed up and acclimatised to the conditions. They will face Japan at the start of the tour, while they are also scheduled to meet domestic sides Stormers, Sharks and Bulls before their three Tests.

Big Decisions To Be Made By Gartland

Gartland will have some big decisions to make in his squad ahead of the series. One of those will be who will lead the team. Many pundits expect him to give that honour to Welshman Alun Wyn Jones.
The Wales skipper led his team to Six Nations glory in 2021. This will be the 35-year-old’s fourth Lions series and most likely will be his last. He has a lot of experience, something his coach will see as a big strength.
Owen Farrell is another player who is in contention for the captain’s armband. The England skipper played a big role in the team in their draw with the Kiwis four years ago. Former Lions captain Paul O’Connell has given his support behind Farrell for the job.
Gartland will also likely consider Scotland’s Stuart Hogg. He is younger than some of his teammates at 28 years old, however, he has shown he is a strong leader and somebody who is destined to lead the Lions at some point during his international career.

Players Still Got Time To Impress Lions Head Coach

The next six weeks are going to be an important period in the domestic game for players to catch the eye of Gartland. 41 players are expected to be announced into the squad so there are lots of places up for grabs.
Before they travel to South Africa, the Lions will take part in a training campaign in Jersey in June. This will be the first chance for the players to familiarise themselves with each other and the full coaching set-up for the series.

World Champions Will Be Hard To Beat On Home Soil

South Africa established themselves as the leading country in international rugby union when they lifted the World Cup in 2019, their third success in the competition. They had excellent wins over Wales and England in the semi-finals and final respectively.

Many of the Welsh and English players involved in the World Cup two years ago will be hoping to get revenge on the Springboks. This will be the first time they have faced them again since losing in the tournament in Japan.
The First Test against the Lions will be the Springboks’ first competitive game since winning the Webb Ellis Trophy. Their record in South Africa is excellent so despite the betting favouring the visitors, it should be a tough series for the Lions.
The first of the three Test matches will take place on the 24th July at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.