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British & Irish Lions tour tickets 2021

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2

From the mag: On your Marx

From the mag: On your Marx

A new role with the Springboks and a challenging stint in Japan has pushed Malcolm Marx in a new direction, writes JON CARDINELLI in the latest SA Rugby magazine.
Malcolm Marx was the best player in South Africa in 2017. He was, without question, the best hooker in Test rugby. And yet, as a regular feature in a struggling Springbok team, he was some way from realizing his full potential.
The 2018 and 2019 seasons forced Marx and many of the so-called first-choice players in the Bok set-up to cultivate a more combative mindset. There was more competition at hooker and Rassie Erasmus went on to pick Bongi Mbonambi for the decisive 2019 Rugby Championship clash against Argentina.

On the eve of the World Cup playoffs, Erasmus insisted that Mbonambi and Marx were not rivals and that both had a key role to play across a contest of 80 minutes. Those words proved prophetic, as Mbonambi made a set-piece statement in the early stages of the World Cup final while Marx subsequently delivered a telling performance at the breakdown and in open play to shatter the English resistance.
Most will remember the final for Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi’s slick interaction for the first try in the second half. It was Marx, however, who made a telling pass earlier in the movement to create the space for Mapimpi to break down the left-hand touchline.
More than six months have passed since the Boks won the World Cup in Japan. Marx still prefers to celebrate the collective performance in the decider rather than his contributions.
‘Unfortunately, Bongi had to leave the field early due to a concussion,’ he says. ‘But as you know there was a big focus on the team rather than individuals and all of us on the bench had to be ready to step up and fill the void. We all had a great understanding of what was required regarding the game plan, and it was great to see how it all worked out.
‘It’s been a dream of mine to play at a World Cup since I watched the Boks win it in 2007. I’m so grateful when I think that only a select few are chosen to represent the Springboks. Even fewer, of course, have played in a World Cup final and won the tournament.’

Marx joined the Shining Arcs in Japan on a short-term deal after the 2019 World Cup. He was, until recently, based in Urayasu, on the outskirts of Tokyo, where the Boks stayed ahead of the clashes against New Zealand and England.
To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for the 25-year-old would be an understatement. His time in the Top League was cut short when authorities suspended the tournament due to the Covid-19 outbreak. In late March, Marx as well as several other South African players and coaches were left stranded at the airport when Japan tightened its restrictions on international travel. Some Japan-based players, like Duane Vermeulen and Jesse Kriel, secured a last-minute flight home via Ethiopia. The rest of the contingent, however, was left to wonder when they would see their families again.
When SA Rugby magazine first spoke to Marx in early April, he was positive the situation would improve and that the stranded group would be back in South Africa by mid-April. Unfortunately, Marx and his countrymen were able to make their way back home only 32 days later.
‘We knew that the only way we were going to get back was via a repatriation flight. It took some time to organize,’ the Bok hooker says. ’There were quite a few South Africans in Japan who were looking to get home, apart from the coaches and players like myself. It was pretty exciting for us all when we finally boarded the flight and realized we were on our way home. I got back on 6 May and spent a few days at a hotel in quarantine. The following week, I was tested and then sent home.
It feels great to be back in my own country again. I realize we’re still in lockdown, but it’s great to know my friends and family are close by.
Marx had planned to finish the season in Japan and rejoin the Lions in June. The Covid-19 crisis has hit the local franchises hard, however, and some have been forced to make some difficult decisions regarding the release of top personnel.
And so it was, shortly after returning to South Africa, it was confirmed Marx’s six-year association with the Lions had come to an end. The Bok hooker and three other Lions players bid farewell to the Johannesburg-based side as a 21-day contractual exit window closed in mid-May. By the end of May, Marx had yet to confirm his next move, although sources suggested that he could head back to Japan.
What we know for certain is that Marx will continue to push for a spot in the Bok team. Like most of the players who won the World Cup, he wants to feature in the series against the British & Irish Lions in 2021.

‘It’s not like I view that World Cup victory as the end,’ he says. ‘I have to keep working and know that there will always be a different challenge. We don’t know when the season will resume, or when we will get together to train again. In the meantime, we’ve got to make the most of it and stay positive.
‘The Lions series is a goal I’ve set for myself,’ he adds. ‘I realize that I’ll need to tick a few boxes along the way. I’ll need to perform at the club level and earn the right to represent the Boks again. I’ll never take that for granted. If I get the chance, I’ll have to show why I deserve it every single game.’
WORLD CUP REWIND
Apart from keeping himself fit during the lockdown, Malcolm Marx took in some of the classic games that were shown on TV in the absence of live rugby. While it’s been six months since the Boks won the World Cup in Japan, none of the players have grown tired of watching that final against England in Yokohama.
‘I was following a few things on social media while I was in Japan, but obviously, I didn’t have access to the channels in South Africa,’ Marx says. ‘My girlfriend watched that final recently [with commentary from the coaches and players] and said it was quite emotional.
‘I’ll never forget the memories we made at that tournament. It’s hard to put the feelings into words. Everything fell into place. We worked incredibly hard and the planning was excellent.’
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4

Manu Tuilagi agreed to rumble with Lions if not Tigers

Manu Tuilagi agreed to rumble with Lions if not Tigers

Leicester focuses one of six players allowed to discover another group after dismissing changed agreement terms from a club gazing into a £5 million dark gap brought about by the COVID emergency. Rugby fans can book British lions rugby Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
Manu Tuilagi is expected to still be eligible for British & Irish Lions selection if he packs his bags and moves overseas. A scenario considered unthinkable pre-pandemic now appears inevitable after the wrecking ball center failed to agree amended contract terms with Leicester and was stood down by the cash-strapped club.

Quitting the Premiership would cost Tuilagi his England place as the RFU policy is to only select players from within the English game.
But the Lions have no such restriction, as Leigh Halfpenny found in 2017 when picked for the New Zealand tour despite playing for Toulon. Before that Toulouse wing, Gareth Thomas not only made the 2005 tour but captained the Lions in two of the three Tests.
In the first instance Tuilagi, 29, has been stood down for a week by Tigers, who revealed last night that 31 staff had been made redundant as a result of a crisis which has already cost the club £5 million and could rise to £10m if they are not back playing in front of fans before next year.
Chief executive Andrea Pinchen name-checked the pay rebels as Tuilagi, Greg Bateman, Telusa Veainu, Noel Reid, and Kyle Eastmond. Jordan Taufua is thought also to be on the list.
“The vast majority of players fully support our recovery plans," said Pinchen. "But everyone's situation is difficult. Some extensions were offered and the financials didn't tally. They wanted more money than we could afford to pay.”
Barring a U-turn, therefore, Tuilagi is set to leave the club, though finding another could be a problem. Sources in France told Mirror Sport that the top clubs have already allocated their budgets and some are even renegotiating salary reductions.

In contrast to the financial turmoil at Welford Road, East Midland neighbors Northampton announced they had reached an agreement with their entire playing squad, coaching, and commercial staff to take a 12-month salary reduction.
Saints chief executive Mark Darbon said: “We are incredibly grateful to all our employees for recognizing the gravity of our situation and coming together to support the club.”
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5

The Lions have just released an incredibly revealing clip showing what Kyle Sinckler was like during the 2017 Lions Tour

The Lions have just released an incredibly revealing clip showing what Kyle Sinckler was like during the 2017 Lions Tour

The British & Irish Lions social media team has just released an incredibly revealing clip of an interaction between Kyle Sinckler and forwards coach Graham Rowntree. The clip says a massive amount about what Sinckler was like during the Lions tour.
As excitement builds for the 2021 Lions Your to South Africa, the British and Irish team have started sharing some incredible behind the scenes clips which reveal exactly what some sides of the tour were like.
Just this morning the Lions released the video on their social media channels called, “The Third Test | Lions Uncovered | New Zealand 2017”. The video shows some previously unseen footage of the third Lions Test in 2017 against New Zealand.

The Lions social media team has been releasing some brilliant content online recently.
The video which was released this morning shows an incredible clip from the third test where the forward's coach for the Lions, Graham Rowntree has to warn Kyle Sinckler that he will be mentally targeted by the opposition before he comes onto the pitch.
Kyle Sinckler in his early career for notorious for being a hothead on and off the ball. In the second test, he almost lost them the win after an outburst at the end of the match.
The clip from that moment can be viewed below.
It was clear the All Blacks team was very aware the Bristol Bears prop was a hothead.
In the clip below Rowntree can be seen looking directly in the 27-year-old’s eyes before saying, “You don’t react to anything; they’re going to come for you”.
The former Harlequins man can be seen smirking when Rowntree says this.
In recent interviews, Sinckler has said that he liked the label that he had as a bad boy in his early days playing rugby and this is evident in this revealing clip that we can view below.
Here is the incredible clip that shows the interesting exchange between Rowntree and Sinckler!
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8

Greenwood’s British & Irish Lions XV

Greenwood’s British & Irish Lions XV

Three-time Lions traveler Will Greenwood has chosen a Lions XV dependent on Six Nations structure if the group were to confront the Springboks this end of the week.
With the Lions visit through South Africa affirmed to proceed as booked among July and August 2021, previous England community Greenwood who visited multiple times with the Lions somewhere in the range of 1997 and 2005. Rugby fans can book British lions rugby Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
While the XV will without a doubt change among now and next July, there were a couple of essential determinations.

Greenwood upheld England commander Owen Farrell at flyhalf in front of any semblance of Ireland's Johnny Sexton and Welsh pair Dan Biggar and Gareth Anscombe.
'[He] played 12 for most of the 2017 visit as he dovetailed with Ireland's Johnny Sexton. Farrell has been a pillar and pioneer for England as they arrived at the World Cup last, and for Saracens upon all their trophy achievement,' Greenwood remarked on his pick.
That implied that within focus position went to Ireland's Robbie Henshaw, who was cooperated with England's Manu Tuilagi in midfield.
“He has battled hugely with wounds through his profession in reality, a genuine pectoral tear against the Hurricanes in a warm-up coordinate that finished his 2017 visit to New Zealand early, Greenwood said about Henshaw. e that as it may, when fit, his capacity and pace in protection and assault mark him out as a phenomenal player.”
Strikingly, Greenwood has picked Wales' Tomos Williams at scrumhalf, pushing out Ireland's Conor Murray and experienced English pair Ben Youngs and Danny Care.
“The nippy Cardiff Blues halfback has an extraordinary kicking game and an inside and out a range of abilities which indicates him as a peril to all restriction protections, Greenwood said. “

In the advances, Greenwood picked a back column of Billy Vunipola, Justin Tipuric and Tom Curry who featured for England during their 2019 World Cup battle.
In the meantime, Ireland's James Ryan and England lock Maro Itoje – who has been promoted for the captaincy – structure the subsequent column. Two of England's 2019 World Cup pack is in the first column with Kyle Sinckler at tighthead prop and Jamie George at hooker. They are joined by Scotland loosehead prop Rory Sutherland.
Greenwood’s Lions XV – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Johnny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Tom Curry, 5 James Ryan, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Rory Sutherland.
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9

British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa to go on as planned

British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa to go on as planned

The British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021 will go ahead as scheduled, SA Rugby and the Lions confirmed.
There had been fears that due to the disruption of the rugby Test calendar that the tour would have to be rescheduled. There were also concerns regarding the competition for audiences with the 2021 Olympic Games which will be taking place around the same time. Rugby fans can book British lions rugby Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Last month, SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said a decision to host the tour later in the year was being considered to fall in line with all other Test scheduling debates. Roux added that a number of scenarios and contingencies were in place regarding any rescheduling of the highly-anticipated tour.
However, Roux, this week, confirmed the dates saying that the whole of South Africa was looking forward to welcoming the Lions. He added that they were continuing with plans to give local and travelling fans “a once-in-a-lifetime experience”.
“We’ve seen with the three most recent tours, in 2009 to South Africa, 2013 to Australia and 2017 to New Zealand, that the Lions bring with them a big and passionate group of supporters,” Roux said.
“We have to ensure the army of red does not dwarf our sea of green and gold, while at the same time showing our guests the best South African hospitality.”
The British & Irish Lions are scheduled to play three Test matches against the reigning World Champions South Africa in addition to five other matches across six different locations, between July 3 and August 7.

The British & Irish Lions first toured South Africa in 1891 and have gone on to do so 12 more times. In those 13 Test series, South Africa has won eight times, drawn once and lost four times. The Lions overall record against the Springboks is played 46, won 17, lost 23 and drawn six.
The Lions tour is highly regarded by players from the opposition, just as it is by those selected from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and they take immense pride in being selected for and playing in those games.
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10

British and Irish Lions Series Bolters – The Lions

British and Irish Lions Series Bolters – The Lions

With the British and Irish Lions Series to South Africa less than a year away, LWOS Rugby takes a look at the potential bolters for the tour this time for the Lions.
Lions Series Bolters
Lions Series Bolters
Jamie Ritchie (Scotland). 23. 105kg.Flanker 18 Test Caps.
What is there left to say about Jaime Ritchie that has not already been said by far more astute minds than my own? Lions legend Sir Ian McGeechan recently named Ritchie in his Lions starting line-up – and rightfully so! While all the talk has been about Tom Curry and Sam Underhill – the ‘kamikaze twins’ as Eddie Jones likes to call them – Ritchie has outplayed them both this year.

An imposing and defensively stalwart flanker, Ritchie is exactly the type of player you want in your side to front the Springboks’ tsunami of physicality. His performance against France (in which he helped put to bed any chance of a Grand Slam for Les Bleus) was characteristically dogged and emblematic of what fans have come to expect of the man from Dundee.
Ritchie is growing in stature with each international performance and is becoming impossible to ignore. A menace at the ruck, a monster in the tight-loose and a workhorse around the park – Ritchie could be just the man the Lions need to bring some extra grunt.
The Backs
Jordan Larmour (Ireland). 23. 87kg. Full Back. 24 Irish Test Caps.
Larmour is the archetypal ‘edge-of-your-seat’ player. With the ball in hand, there is always a feeling that he can make something out of nothing. Fans of Irish rugby will have become accustomed to seeing his dazzling footwork open up defences. When Larmour is on the attack he doesn’t so much run as glide past defenders – such is his balance and speed.
The victim, perhaps, of an Irish set up with a host of quality options on the wings and at full-back, the Leinsterman has had to bide his time. Finally, though his star is beginning to shine and one can expect his meteoric rise to continue.

So often a curse for backline players, Larmour’s versatility may work in his favour as he can cover any position in the back three. His quality of vision has seen Leinster often employ him at first receiver in their attacking patterns, a testament to the man’s ability to put others into space as well as find his own. Though up against the stiff competition in Elliot Daly, Stuart Hogg and Liam Williams, don’t write off Larmour just yet.
The Wildcard
Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland). 25. 106kg. Wing. 0 Test Caps.
Let’s talk statistics. In this year’s Pro14 van der Merwe has made 73 carries beating 61 defenders – the most of any player in the tournament. He has made 27 clean breaks (tournament-leading), 756 run metres (tournament-leading) and has seven tries to his name (third in the competition). When one talks about the best wingers in Europe, he has to be in the discussion.

Van der Merwe qualified to play for Scotland on residency earlier this year and coach Gregor Townsend has since made it clear that an international call-up is a matter of when not if. Indeed, were it not for his lack of test experience to date one feels he would be all but a shoo-in for Lions selection.
Another southern hemisphere exile and winger – James Lowe – has been similarly highly regarded, though this time by Irish coach Andy Farrell. Lowes and van der Merwe will have the opportunity to make their mark and stake their claims for Lions selection when the Six Nations resumes later this year. Though both extremely talented wingers, the physicality and aggression van der Merwe offers is unmatchable and may set him apart from the rest of the cohort of Lions contenders.
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11

Stick: It will be like revenge

Stick: It will be like revenge

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick says facing the British & Irish Lions was one of the best experiences of his career and he cannot wait for next year’s tour to begin.
The last time the Lions toured South Africa in 2009, Stick – who at the time was captaining the Blitzboks to a World Sevens Series title – had the privilege of facing the tourists in their match against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth. Rugby fans can book British Irish lions tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

The Kings side was coached by current Worcester Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons and was a largely invitational team, with a bulk of players from overseas clubs, the Vodacom Bulls and a few from the Eastern Cape.
Stick’s Blitzbok teammate, Mpho Mbiyozo, would score the Kings’ only try as the Lions went on to claim a hard-fought 20-8 victory. Stick came on to the field in the second half, but says the memories of that match are still fresh in his mind.
‘It was 11 years ago, but I remember everything from that game,’ Stick said. ‘Many players don’t get the opportunity [of playing against the Lions], but for me, even after retiring, it always brought a smile to my face.

‘We were facing the best players from Europe. Ronan O’Gara kicked 10 points, Ugo Monye scored their only try, and there were many other big names, too. To share the field with all those players created memories that will last a lifetime, and I’m really grateful for that opportunity.
‘At that time, I was still playing for the Blitzboks, but I received a call from Mr Solomons and he asked me to play that game. Myself and Mpho Mbiyozo, who was with me at the Springbok Sevens team, just could not say no to this opportunity.
‘There was one thing that made it very special to me – to play in front of our supporters in Port Elizabeth. It’s the place that made me who I am, and it’s very close to my heart.
‘We had the likes of De Wet Barry, a great Springbok, Solly Tyibilika and Francois Hougaard – a lot of great players, and for me, as a youngster, it was very special to rub shoulders with these guys. Then, looking at the venue, it was going to be the first sports match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, that was built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. We were really excited to be part of that history.’
Now working under Jacques Nienaber as the Springboks’ assistant coach, Stick says the Lions will have vengeance on their minds after the Springboks’ victories over Wales and England during last year’s World Cup win.
‘The World Cup final against England was very tough and we had to be at our very best – I think facing the Lions will be three times as tough. Unlike at a World Cup, where you do have easier
weeks, there will be no opportunities to take things easy when preparing for the Lions – every training session, every gym session will have to count.
‘We are the current RWC champions – we beat England in the final and Wales in the semi-final, so they are going to come hard for us. It will be like revenge.
‘We’re certainly not expecting anything light. The northern-hemisphere sides are very strong at the moment – all of those teams are very tough, and we’ll make sure that we’re ready for that challenge.’
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12

Williams: Lions jersey makes you feel 12 foot tall

Williams: Lions jersey makes you feel 12 foot tall

Former Wales wing Shane Williams has opened up on his pride of wearing a British & Irish Lions jersey during their tour of New Zealand in 2005.
Fresh from helping Wales win a Grand Slam Six Nations title in 2005, Williams was named in the Lions squad for their New Zealand tour.
In an interview with the Lions website, the short wing recalled feeling like a giant when he was able to pull on the famous red shirt in a historic warm-up match against Argentina in Cardiff.

‘To put the Lions jersey on for the first time, I remember putting it on and feeling 12 feet tall,’ Williams told the Lions website. ‘To play for Wales was my dream as a kid and I knew all about the history of the Lions.
‘But I never thought for one minute that I would play for Wales, let alone the Lions. So, when the chance comes along you’re pinching yourself, you are.
‘When I put that jersey on for the Argentina game, I was so proud. It didn’t matter who we were playing, where we were playing, I was so proud.

‘The fact that we were playing at the Millennium Stadium was huge because I knew we would have a lot of Welsh fans there. It was at my home stadium and I just couldn’t wait to go. It was a huge honor and it was a capped game as well, so that’s a Lions international Test cap. I’m very proud of that moment and to have my family there watching, it was huge.’
During the tour, Williams would make a small bit of history by equalling a single-game Lions record when he scored five tries in a midweek match against Manawatu.
‘Every time I put the Lions jersey on, whether it be against the All Blacks, South Africa, Manawatu, Otaga, whatever, I was beaming that I’d made it and had that opportunity,’ Williams said.
‘I was put in that Lions squad to score tries, that’s my job. I suppose I’m the Messi or Shearer of rugby. When it comes to football they are there to score goals, I’m there to score tries. Every time there was a game for the Lions I would put my hand up, I wanted to play. I’d play every single game if the coaches would let me.’

However, the rest of the tour would not go to plan for the Lions as they were handed a 3-0 series defeat by an All Blacks side inspired by the likes of Dan Carter and Sitiveni Sivivatu.
‘We were completely outplayed – New Zealand in 2005 was probably one of the best All Black teams I played against,’ Williams explained. ‘We were outmuscled, we were outfought, they were absolute class. I remember playing in that second Test and Dan Carter was everywhere. It was probably his best game in a New Zealand shirt I’d say, he was scoring points for fun.
‘They were incredible on that tour. Not only were the Test games tough, the midweek matches as well were so physical, so hard, but that’s life. Sometimes you come up against better teams, better players and you learn a lot from it. I like to think I learned a lot from that tour and wouldn’t change it – it’s been and it’s gone.’
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13

SINCE THE TOUR: JOHNNY SEXTON

SINCE THE TOUR: JOHNNY SEXTON

The Ireland fly-half was a key figure in 2013, as Warren Gatland’s side marched to a famous 2-1 series win in Australia, before again playing in all three Tests against New Zealand in 2017.
His partnership with fellow fly-half Owen Farrell helped turn the 2017 Tour around after the All Blacks surged to victory in the first Test, while he has gone from strength to strength since. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Long acknowledged as one of the finest fly-halves in the game, Sexton is still going strong at 35 and even took over the Ireland captaincy for the 2020 Six Nations.
With the 2021 Tour to South Africa on the horizon, the Leinsterman is one of the players being tipped for a third Tour when they take on the reigning world champions.
And in the latest part of our new series looking at what the 2017 tourists have been up to since, we take at look how Sexton has continued to lead by example for club and country.
POST-TOUR REFLECTIONS
Sexton opened his account in the first game where he kicked the first points of the Lions Tour in the 13-7 success against the New Zealand Barbarians.
The Leinsterman was a replacement versus the Blues and Crusaders before starting the 32-10 victory over the Maori All Blacks a week before the First Test, where he came on as a replacement.

He was selected to start a week later as the Lions levelled the series with a 24-21 success in Wellington.
The 32-year-old was instrumental in the classic loop move which saw Anthony Watson break down the right and eventually led to Taulupe Faletau’s vital try in that Test.
And the Irish fly-half started against the All Blacks once again in the third Test as the match, and a dramatic series, was drawn.
Sexton was part of a familiar partnership at half-back with compatriot Conor Murray but also linked well with England’s Owen Farrell in the 10-12 axis during the second and third Tests.
In total he played 383 minutes on Tour making 44 tackles and gaining 111 metres with ball in hand.
THE GRAND SLAM
Just months after the Lions’ Tour, Sexton reached one of his career highlights – a Six Nations Grand Slam with Ireland.
The fly-half got the ball rolling with a dramatic last-gasp drop goal against France in Round 1, after a 43-phase move from inside their own half.

Home wins against Italy, Scotland and Wales secured Ireland the title before they even faced England in Round 5 – but they went and beat their old rivals for good measure to win just the third Grand Slam in their history.
Ireland’s year got better after that, with a Test series win in Australia – where Sexton again starred – followed by four consecutive wins in the autumn, including a first ever home victory against New Zealand.
WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ireland’s amazing year earned them some end-of-season dividends at the glitzy World Rugby awards.
Joe Schmidt won Coach of the Year, Ireland won Team of the Year and Sexton himself won the World Player of the Year award.
“It’s been an incredible year for Irish rugby, to win everything we could, really. It’s been very special, and a few of us have ended up here tonight,” he said.
Ireland were beaten by England in the opening game of the 2019 Six Nations and were defeated by Wales in the last, while their World Cup ended in quarter-final heartbreak at the hands of New Zealand.

However, they could add another Six Nations medal soon, with Sexton the captain, with just two games to go.
Their fate is in their own hands, with two bonus-point wins against Italy and France enough to secure the trophy.
If Ireland are to do it, they’ll need Sexton at his best.
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14

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson keen to join British & Irish Lions staff

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson keen to join British & Irish Lions staff

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said he has asked about joining the coaching staff of fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland when he leads the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa next year.
Robertson, who missed out on the All Blacks coaching job last year, said a role on the Lions tour would help give him some international experience.

"I thought, look if I can't be involved with the All Blacks, what's the biggest thing - or bigger in its self - the Lions tour - to get involved," Robertson told New Zealand radio station Gold AM on Friday.
"Obviously Gats (Gatland) has been hugely successful at the international level as a coach, so he's a person to learn off and also allows me to not have to go offshore to coach and get that international experience."
Gatland is taking a year off from coaching the Chiefs to coach the Lions.

Robertson guided the Crusaders to the domestic Super Rugby Aotearoa title earlier this month to add to their three successive Super Rugby titles since he took over in 2017.
The All Blacks appointed Ian Foster, an assistant coach for the past eight years, to succeed Steve Hansen.
Robertson said he had not heard anything back from Lions management yet.
The Lions play three Tests, two in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town, against the world champion Springboks on an eight-match tour from July 3-Aug. 7 next year.
However, SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux this week admitted the tour might not go ahead next year if travel restrictions remained in place across the world.
"Travelling for international events will likely still be under more pressure than pre-COVID [in July 2021]," Roux said.

"No spectators and people not being able to travel would not make this commercially viable, and then we would discuss how we continue with the tour.
"There has been some talk of moving it out [to a new date], but our travel advice is that by June/July we should be at what is deemed to be normal international travel.
"But we are monitoring it every month."
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15

bLion's tour contingencies under consideration

bLion's tour contingencies under consideration

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17

Crusader's boss keen on coaching with British and Irish Lions

Crusader's boss keen on coaching with British and Irish Lions

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18

Saders confident of retaining Razor’s services

Saders confident of retaining Razor’s services

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge says Scott Robertson will still be the franchise’s head of coach next year even if he takes a role with the British & Irish Lions.
Robertson was appointed Crusaders head coach in 2017 and has led his team to championships in every season since taking control. But last week, the 45-year-old revealed he has reached out to Warren Gatland to express interest in forming part of the British & Irish Lions coaching group next year.

Robertson, who missed out on the All Blacks coaching job, told a New Zealand radio show that he has turned his attention to the possibility of taking up a role with the Lions.
But while nothing is concrete yet, Mansbridge says the Crusaders board has discussed the possibility of Robertson linking up with the Lions and discussed ways to work around it.
“Without getting into detail about what it actually looked like, there was confidence that we would be able to manage it in terms of commitment to the Crusaders’ campaign, as well as doing this Lions link, Mansbridge said.”
“He is not going to lose focus on the campaign. There is no way he doesn’t want to win another championship. If there is anything that keeps him up at night, it’s that.”
According to Mansbridge, Robertson would be able to focus solely on the Crusaders’ season before joining the Lions set-up, because it is expected that Vodacom Super Rugby will conclude about a month before the Lions tour of South Africa in July.
“He is not going to abandon the campaign at the back end – it would be how does he manage himself? And he’s exceptional at doing that. We are confident that between us we can solve any issue as it arises, Mansbridge said.

“We would like to see it as an opportunity, rather than see the problems or barriers to it, is our mindset.
“His coach’s paint around this place is going to be thicker than most. It’s as good as, if not better, than a Robbie Deans or Wayne Smith. It’s that sort of impact he’s going to have on this place. I’m not saying Razor holds all the cards, but there is no need to play hardball or be tough or anything like that.”
‘When you show someone that you want them in your whanau and you love them and you love them being there, we just keep reinforcing those, and we will let the documentation and the contracting take care of itself with time.’
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Springboks took sea of red as a challenge - www.xchangetickets.com

Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers says running out to
a ‘sea of red’ motivated the team during the 2009 British & Irish Lions
tour of South Africa.

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