Cape Town - A lot of rugby will be played between now and when the British & Irish Lions arrive on South African shores in mid-2021, but bookmakers have already installed the Springboks' visitors as early Test series favourites.
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The British Lions' 2021 tour will be the famed side's 14th visit to South Africa.
In the 13 previous tours - the first of which took place in 1891 and the most recent in 2009 - the British Lions have emerged victorious on four occasions, with the 1955 series ending in a tie.
In total, 46 matches have been played between the sides, with the British Lions winners in 17 of those clashes. South Africa has claimed victory on 23 occasions, with six matches ending in a stalemate.
Leading bookies Sportingbet are backing Warren Gatland's combined Wales, Scotland, England and Ireland side to make it a fifth all-time series victory, installing them as 33/50 favourites. The Springboks are on offer at 6/5, while a drawn three-Test series is available at 33/1.
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The Lions have toured South Africa twice since the country was readmitted to international rugby in 1992, claiming a surprise 2-1 series victory in 1997, before losing by the same margin in 2009.
Coincidentally, as will be the case in 2021, on both previous visits the Springboks have been the reigning world champions.
Following matches against Super Rugby sides, the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls, as well as clashes against a SA 'Invitational' side and SA 'A', the first Test will take place at FNB Stadium, with the second - and potentially deciding clash - set for the Cape Town Stadium.
The third and final Test will take place at Ellis Park.
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