Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has confirmed that South Africa expect to have their hands full when they take on the British & Irish Lions in 2021.
Stick, who represented the Sharks and the Kings during his playing career, voiced the opinion that a Lions tour poses a very different challenge to a World Cup.
“The Rugby World Cup final against England was very tough and we had to be at our very best – I think facing the Lions will be three times as tough,” Stick said.
“Unlike at a World Cup, where you do have easier weeks, there will be no opportunities to take things easy when preparing for the Lions – every training session, every gym session will have to count.
“We are the current Rugby World Cup champions – we beat England in the final and Wales in the semi-final, so they are going to come hard for us. It will be like revenge.
“We’re certainly not expecting anything light. The northern hemisphere sides are very strong at the moment – all of those teams are very tough, and we’ll make sure that we’re ready for that challenge.”
The Lions first game sees them taking on the Stormers in Cape Town on 3 July 2021.Thereafter, they will face a South African invitational side in Port Elizabeth, followed by the Sharks in Durban, South Africa ‘A’ at the Mbombela stadium and then the Bulls in Pretoria before the first of three tests, commencing on 24 July Ellis Park, Johannesburg .
The Lions will be hungry to avenge their 2009 series defeat to the Boks.