CAPE TOWN: All three Lions tests moved due to coronavirus
PA David Davies
All three of the British and Irish Lions tests against South Africa will now be played in Cape Town due to the risk of coronavirus infections.
The first of the tests was already scheduled to be played at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday 24th July. However, the following two were planned to be in Johannesburg.
Now, the FNB Stadium will not host games on 31st July and 7th August due to the risks coronavirus imposes on the Lions test series.
South Africa have been forced to isolate more than once already in the build-up to the series getting underway, with both teams now living in bio-secure bubbles.
“The data pointed in only one direction,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“The Series has already been significantly disrupted by COVID-19 and a return to Gauteng at this time would only increase the risks.
“We now have two teams in bio-secure environments without any positive cases or anyone in isolation. To now return to the Highveld would expose the Series to renewed risk.
“Everyone wants to see the two squads, at their strongest, play out an unforgettable Series over the next three weekends and this decision gives us the best opportunity to see that happen.”
Ben Calveley, Managing Director for The British & Irish Lions, said:
“We are fully supportive of this decision which we believe to be in the best interest of the Test Series."
Roux thanked Gauteng and the City of Cape Town for their flexibility and understanding to accommodate the late change of plan.
“We have had great support from local government, and I’d like to thank both Gauteng and the City of Cape Town for their open-minded engagement in what has been a very challenging time,” said Roux.
“Extraordinary times have called for extraordinary measures and we have had support from all our commercial partners despite the challenges.”
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