British and Irish Lions to face Sharks for second time after Bulls fixture postponed

Warren Gatland is optimistic that the series against South Africa will happen amid Covid uncertainty
Warren Gatland is optimistic that the series against South Africa will happen amid Covid uncertainty
©PA

The British and Irish Lions will lock horns with Cell C Sharks for the second time in four days following the fixture against Vodacom Bulls was postponed.

Four players from Bulls squad and a staff member was tested positive for Covid-19 forcing their Saturday's fixture against the Lions to be postponed.

The Lions also have a Covid outbreak in the squad with a player and a staff member tested positive but still managed to play Sharks on Wednesday with a reshuffled squad. They will be undergoing two more Covid tests on Thursday and Friday.

“We’re very grateful to the Sharks for agreeing to play us again this Saturday at Loftus Versfeld,” Lions managing director Ben Calveley said.

“We have further Covid testing scheduled for today (Thursday) and tomorrow. 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 pandemic.”

South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said the decision to involve Sharks again was more to do with the quarantine rules.

“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,” SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said.

“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 has made sure that we do not live in an ideal world.”

The Lions have started the tour of South Africa with a 56-14 win over Sigma Lions followed by a 54-7 victory over Sharks.

 
 

England Fixtures