SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has confirmed that they are in discussion with World Rugby to organise at least three Tests before the British and Irish Lions Tour next year.
As it stands, the Springboks first test since their Rugby World Cup Final win over England will be the opening test of the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour on 24 July 2021. But SA Rugby President Alexander says that they are looking into the possibility of organising a few Tests in preparation for the Lions series.
‘We are looking at that, we are busy with that,’ he said. ‘We are looking at having a couple of games. We will confirm that once we have confirmed with World Rugby that we can have games.
‘You know, we can’t just organise a game with another country. We have to get permission from World Rugby and we are seeking permission to have at least three or four games before we play the series.’
He added that SA Rugby is confident that they will be granted permission to organise tests as the 2021 rugby calendar is still under construction and a long way from being finalised.
‘The calendar is not finalised, we have only finalised the rugby calendar for this year. Next year’s calendar is still under discussion. One thing that is for sure is that it is still in July that we will be playing the British & Irish Lions series. That is confirmed. That is the only one confirmed for next year. World Rugby is still in discussion as to what is going to happen with the global calendar.'
‘The way things are looking now. I think the calendar will remain the same for next year as well and we will probably look at changing the calendar in 2022 – to accommodate the Pro Rugby League, the Currie Cup, Inbound and Outbound Tours and the Rugby Championship – but it is under discussion.’
South Africa are set to take part in the 2021 Rugby Championship next year but that is likely to take place after the Lions Tour unless there is a drastic change in the test calendar. SANZAAR confirmed earlier this week that the Boks have confirmed their participation in the Championship for the next ten years despite the SA Super Rugby franchises heading north to the PRO14 next year.
South Africa's opponents next year could depend on when the Boks decide to host their tests with the 2021 Six Nations set to kick off in early February next year while the likes of the Premiership and TOP 14 have been very reluctant to release players in recent times for test matches.