Mon, 20 Jan 2020

Cape Town - An English scribe has criticised the shortened itinerary for the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021.

The itinerary was confirmed last week, with the Lions to play eight matches on a five-week long tour.

Mick Cleary, writing for the UK-based The Telegraph, said the .

he wrote.

The eight-game schedule includes six weekend fixtures; three against Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers, and two midweek fixtures against an invitational side in Port Elizabeth and South Africa 'A' in Nelspruit.

On their past three tours - New Zealand (2017, Australia 2013 and South Africa (2009) - the Lions played 10 games.

When they toured New Zealand in 2005 there were 12 fixtures, including a match against Argentina in Cardiff prior to departure.

Cleary added that in 2021's tour there would not be enough games for players to stake a claim in the "first XV".

He compared the Lions tour to golf's Ryder Cup, which is contested between the USA and Europe every two years.

Full British & Irish Lions 2021 tour schedule:

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

Wednesday, July 7: British & Irish Lions v SA 'Invitational' - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Saturday, July 10: British & Irish Lions v Sharks - Kings Park, Durban

Wednesday, July 14: British & Irish Lions v South Africa 'A' - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

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

Saturday, July 24 (1st Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - FNB Stadium, Johannesburg

Saturday, July 31 (2nd Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Saturday, August 7 (3rd Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Ellis Park, Johannesburg

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