The British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa is reeling under pandemic strain while pockets of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng are on fire, with criminal looters wreaking havoc after protests erupted following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma. But the rugby show will go on, for now.
South Africa ‘A’ take on the touring Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday, 14 July, with the Stormers facing the Lions on 17 July at the same venue. Those fixtures were on the original schedule, but due to the slew of positive Covid-19 cases in the Bok camp, it was expected that the Stormers and SA ‘A’ matches would swap dates.
It was only at 9.30am on Monday, 12 July that the green light was given for the fixtures to remain as scheduled. That was after the Boks went through another set of PCR tests and were cleared. Which is good news.
But it also underlines just how this tour is operating in crisis mode, which is eroding its viability and credibility. How prepared can players be, physically, but more pertinently, emotionally and mentally to play such a significant series?
The director of rugby at SA…