Sports Reporter
1 minute read
8 Jul 2021
4:15 pm

Lions-Sharks rematch at Loftus confirmed by SA Rugby

Sports Reporter

"The choice of the Sharks was dictated by the fact that they have been in a bubble and have returned negative tests throughout."

The British and Irish Lions, who faced the Sharks at Ellis Park on Wednesday, will play the same opposition at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The British and Irish Lions will play back-to-back matches against the Sharks.

SA Rugby and the Lions have agreed to replace the Bulls with the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (kick-off at 6pm), after the former was ruled out because of Covid-19 infections.

The Lions beat the Sharks 54-7 at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Wednesday in the second match of the Lions Series tour. The tourists had opened their account at the same venue with a 56-14 victory over the Joburg-based Lions on Saturday.

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“The choice of the 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,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby on Thursday afternoon.

“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 change has meant that the Sharks’ match against the Joburg Lions in the Currie Cup on Saturday has been cancelled with a decision on the points allocation to be confirmed.

“We’re very grateful to the Sharks for agreeing to play us again this Saturday at Loftus Versfeld,” said Ben Calveley, Managing Director for The British & Irish Lions.

“We have further Covid-19 testing scheduled for today and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday). The results of those tests will determine whether we will be able fulfil this fixture, but, 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.”