The Lions will play eight matches in South Africa in 2021.

Schedule For 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour To South Africa

Three years on from their famous series tie against New Zealand, the British & Irish Lions have confirmed their schedule for the 2021 tour to face 2019 World Cup winners South Africa.

In all they will play eight games in South Africa, three of which will be Tests against the Springboks, three matches against the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls, and finally two contests against a South Africa ‘Invitational’ team and South Africa ‘A’ team. There will also be a warm-up Test between the Lions and Japan at BT Murrayfield at the end of June 2021 before the squad depart.

The tour’s original dates were called into question due to the global pandemic, but it has now been confirmed the dates will remain the same.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of disruption to the sporting calendar, but after extensive discussions we are now able to confirm that the tour dates are as previously announced,” said British & Irish Lions managing director Ben Calveley.

“I am particularly pleased that we are able to provide some clarity for all those Lions supporters eager to travel to South Africa next summer.”

Additionally it has also been confirmed that Sky Sports will televise all of the Lions matches from South Africa.

Rob Webster, Sky Sports managing director, said: “There are a handful of events in the sporting calendar that truly transcend their sport, and a Lions tour is one of them. It’s a moment in time, where the home nations come together to take on the best in the world.

“We’re hugely proud of our association with the Lions, and we’re looking forward to bringing our customers every twist and turn of what is sure to be a spectacular tour.”

Schedule For 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour To South Africa Confirmed

Lions leaders: Managing director Ben Calveley and head coach Warren Gatland (Getty Images)

Despite leaving his role with Wales and taking up the head-coaching job at the Chiefs in New Zealand, Warren Gatland will once again lead the men in red into battle, and he is looking forward to the prospect.

“I am absolutely thrilled with how this schedule looks.

“Touring South Africa is always a huge challenge, not only from a rugby perspective, but also in terms of the venues and the conditions facing the players.

“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 acclimatising to the unique environment that playing at altitude presents.

“We are very much looking forward to touring this wonderful country.”

Full 2021 schedule:

Saturday 26 June: British & Irish Lions v Japan – BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Saturday 3 July: British & Irish Lions v DHL Stormers – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Wednesday 7 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa ‘Invitational’ – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Saturday 10 July: British & Irish Lions v Cell C Sharks – Jonsson Kings Park, Durban

Wednesday 14 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa ‘A’ Team – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Saturday 17 July: British & Irish Lions v Vodacom Bulls – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Saturday 24 July (first Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg

Saturday 31 July (second Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Saturday 7 August (third Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.