The Lions haven’t suffered a series defeat since their last tour of South Africa back in 2009. In Australia in 2013 they won 2-1, and in 2017 finished with a dramatic 1-1 draw against then World Champions the All Blacks in New Zealand. And odds on 2021 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa have them favourites to emerge victorious next year.
2021 will see the shortest ever tour to South Africa next summer. The three-match test series against South Africa will play out in one block from 24 July onwards, over the last three games of the tour. But unlike previous series, where the Lions played seven other games against local teams, 2021 will see an eight-match tour with only five additional games.
Full schedule announced
The Lions have now confirmed their schedule for the 2021 tour to face 2019 World Cup winners South Africa. There will be matches against the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls. In between these matches will be contests against a South Africa ‘Invitational’ team and South Africa ‘A’ team. And finally, there will be three Tests against the Springboks. Warren Gatland will once again lead the men in red into battle, despite having left his role with Wales to become head coach at the Chiefs in New Zealand. And he is looking forward to the prospect.
It will be Gatland’s third time at the helm of the cream of British and Irish rugby. He concedes that touring South Africa is always a huge challenge, not only in terms of the level of opposition, but also the conditions facing players. “We are very comfortable that three of the games, two of which are Test matches, will be played at altitude”, he said. “Our schedule falls in a way to allow us to start at sea level before building up and acclimatising to the unique environment that playing at altitude presents”. And with the announcement of a team roster yet to come, odds on 2021 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa seem to back up Gatland’s confidence, positioning the reigning World Champions as underdogs.
|3 July||DHL Stormers||Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town|
|7 July||South Africa ‘Invitational’||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|10 July||Cell C Sharks||Jonsson Kings Park, Durban|
|14 July||South Africa ‘A’ Team||Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit|
|17 July||Vodacom Bulls||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria|
|24 July||First Test – Springboks||FNB Stadium, Johannesburg|
|31 July||Second Test – Springboks||Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town|
|7 August||Third Test – Springboks||Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg|
Who will make the squad?
So the mission against the newly crowned World Cup champions is underway. But with no definite team line up, there are still two Six Nations campaigns for Lions hopefuls to impress coach Warren Gatland. And with the 2020 Six Nations headed for an exciting finish, if you want betting action on the finale of this season’s home nations tournament, read more here 2020 Betting Predictions Foresee Seventh England Victory. The former Wales boss mentioned names recently, however, when asked who he would pick to start for the Lions in 2021 if he had to chose at this early stage.
They included three of his Wales team beaten 19-16 by the Springboks in the semi-final in Japan 2019. Two of them – Josh Adams and Aaron Wainwright – would have been outsiders to make a Lions squad before their outstanding performances at the World Cup. Wing Adams, however, went on to finish the tournament as its leading try scorer with seven touchdowns. And despite the Springboks crushing England 32-12 in the final, he seemed happy with many of those same English players. Two of his New Zealand 2017 Lions Test contingent, hooker Jamie George 1.1, and wing Anthony Watson 1.67, would go. Maro Itoje 1.1 at lock would go, and he would “probably go for” 21-year-old flanker Tom Curry 1.14. Centre Manu Tuilagi 1.33 also got a mention.
Gatland chose Stuart Hogg and Tadhg Furlong to represent Scotland and Ireland respectively. And as for the Captaincy, veteran Welsh lock Alun Wyn Jones was revealed as top choice. As things currently stand, odds on 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa at online sportsbooks in the UK have the inspirational Wales skipper favourite closely followed by England skipper Owen Farrell and teammate Maro Itoje.
Odds on 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa
Odds on outright winner at 1XBET Sportsbook:
|British and Irish Lions||1.616|
As already mentioned, the Lions are favourites going into the tournament. But alongside outright winner, betting has opened at 1XBET Sportsbook on players to be selected for the tour. There are two markets – to make the Lions squad as forwards, or to make the squad as backs. England have odds on the most players, followed by Ireland and Wales; Tadhg Furlong 1.1, James Ryan 1.2 and Conor Murray 1.57 are favourites for Ireland, with Welsh selections including Josh Adams 1.08 and Jonathan Davies 1.36. Scotland have the fewest, but Stuart Hogg 1.67 at fullback remains a good bet. And to be named Captian? Our three top contenders – Alun Wyn Jones 3, Owen Farrell 4.5, and Maro Itoje 4.5 – are favourites by far, with James Ryan 13 next in line.
These are exciting times and, as the official selection draws nearer, there are new faces popping up and rumours of big names being left out altogether. But with odds on 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa now open, you’re free to put your money on any and all selections, however contentious they may be. We won’t know until next summer if they are the right ones or not. But no matter which home nation you support, if the Lions come home triumphant in 2021, maybe it won’t feel quite so bad if your selections fail to pay out this time. However you make your picks, keep up to date with developments at online gambling sites in the UK between now and when the tournament kicks off, and when it does, good luck.