Rassie Erasmus hopes for second game between Lions and South Africa 'A'

Rassie Erasmus wants Lions to face South Africa 'A' for the second time in the week
Rassie Erasmus wants Lions to face South Africa 'A' for the second time in the week
©Steve Haag

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus believes a second game between South Africa A and British and Irish Lions would be ideal considering the current Covid situation in the country.

Erasmus had already proposed the idea of the two teams meeting again on Saturday but was turned down by Lions head coach Warren Gatland.

“We won’t be playing them again on Saturday," affirmed Gatland.

However, with the South Africa A side beating the Lions 17-13 on Wednesday at Cape Town Stadium, the talks have emerged again with Erasmus feeling it is the 'safest' option available currently.

“We’ve got two options on Saturday, depending on what Covid cases up. I know the Lions have the Stormers on Saturday, and we at this stage are going to play the Bulls," said Erasmus.

"The Bulls went into quarantine for us as a back-up, and depending on whether there is any outbreak in the Bulls or the Stormers teams – if there are any positive cases there, the best thing for us would be to play the Lions again on Saturday,” Erasmus said.

“I’m not sure if people want to do that, but I think that will be the safest. But if everything goes according to plan, we will play the Bulls and they will play the Stormers on Saturday."

The South Africa A matchday squad that defeated Lions on Wednesday had 16 players from the 2019 World Cup winning Springboks squad but Erasmus feels the result would not influence Gatland's decision.

“I know Warren really well, and he is one of the guys I respect in world rugby. If he doesn’t want to play, it will definitely not be because they are afraid of us. Maybe their tour is planned around certain permutations and stuff. It will definitely not be because we are more physical than them.

“I know him really well… I am good friends with him. So, if he can’t play, and he won’t play, it will definitely not be because they are scared of us – that I can promise you.

“It will be more because they wanted to play certain games at certain stages. Both him and Jacques know how tough next week Saturday will be, so I don’t think he will be afraid – he probably has other plans, and other planning in his mind.”

 

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