The tourists have arranged back-to-back fixtures against the Sharks after the Bulls game was postponed

British & Irish Lions to play Sharks again on Saturday

The British & Irish Lions will play the Sharks on Saturday, making it back-to-back fixtures against the South African franchise.

The Lions 2021 tour has been disrupted by Covid and the match against the Bulls that was scheduled for Saturday had to be postponed due to positive cases in the Bulls camp.

The Lions were 54-7 victors over the Sharks in Johannesburg on Wednesday and will now play them for the second time in four days, this time at Loftus Versfeld (kick-off 5pm).

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SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said: “The choice of the Cell C Sharks was dictated by the fact that they have been in a bubble, have returned negative tests throughout and were prepared to take on the fixture.

“No other team in the country could meet those conditions right now – without going into a five-day lockdown. It is not an ideal situation but Covid-19 has made sure that we do not live in an ideal world.”

The Sharks’ Currie Cup match against Sigma Lions has been cancelled to accommodate this fixture change to the tourists’ schedule.

The Lions themselves are dealing with two positive Covid cases in their camp and had to make eight changes to their match-day 23 for the first match against the Sharks due to close contacts isolating. They are undergoing further tests to ensure they can face the Sharks but are confident they can do so.

Lions managing director Ben Calveley said: “We’re very grateful to the Sharks for agreeing to play us again this Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.

“We have further Covid-19 testing scheduled for today and tomorrow. The results of those tests will determine whether we will be able fulfil this fixture. As it stands, we are optimistic.

“We remain committed to the tour in South Africa and determined to rise to the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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