Thu, 28 May 2020

The tour dates for the British & Irish Lions' 2021 tour to South Africa remain unchanged despite an overlap with the Olympic Games.

It was confirmed on Monday that the Tokyo Games will be pushed back a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic - putting the massive event on a direct collision course with the keenly-awaited Lions tour in rugby union.

The new Games schedule will run from 23 July to 8 August next year: almost identical to the Lions tour dates in South Africa, with the cream of activity being the three Tests at the business end between 24 July and 7 August at FNB Stadium, Cape Town Stadium and Ellis Park respectively.

Ben Calveley, the British & Irish Lions' Managing Director, told Reuters that the tour won't be rescheduled.

"The priority right now has to be the safety and wellbeing of all those affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic," Calveley said.

"We are determined to play our part in what will be an extraordinary summer of sport. There should not be any direct clashes with Lions matches and Olympic events given the time difference between South Africa and Tokyo, so fans should not miss out on any action. We are expecting a fantastic series against the world champions."

The clash between the Lions tour and Olympics means players who wished to play in both events will have to make a decision which one they will set their sights on.

READ | Kolbe's kingsize headache: Olympics v Lions tour

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