Uk News How to watch the Lions 2021 squad announcement - date, time and team predictions United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Warren Gatland is preparing to name 36 of Britain & Ireland's finest to face the world champion Springboks this summer
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! The British & Irish Lions squad for the 2021 tour of South Africa will be announced this week.Warren Gatland and his coaching team have been watching hours and hours of rugby, scratching their heads and no doubt having a few disagreements as they try to whittle down their squad list to the final 36 names.With the finest men’s players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales vying for selection there are destined to be some quality names missing out.The freshest exclusives and sharpest analysis, curated for your inboxEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.Gatland’s men kick off their summer tour against Japan at Murrayfield at the end of June before jetting off to South Africa where they will play five warm-up matches against provincial sides and three Tests against the world champion Springboks in July and August.How to watch the Lions 2021 squad announcementThe Lions captain looks almost certain to come from the second row (Photo: Getty)The 2021 Lions squad will be announced on Thursday 6 May in a virtual event.A live stream for the squad announcement will start at 11.45am on the Lions’ website, social media channels (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) and on the official app.The first order of business will be the announcement of the Lions tour captain at 12.09pm before the full squad is announced at 12.28pm by the team’s chairman Jason Leonard.The live stream will be presented by Lee McKenzie who is joined by Lions legends Sam Warburton, Jason Robinson, Tommy Bowe and Gavin Hastings, and the great Springboks wing Bryan Habana. Lions tour 2021 fixtures 26 June: Japan (Murrayfield Stadium)3 July: DHL Stormers (Cape Town Stadium)7 July: South Africa Invitational XV (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium)10 July: Cell C Sharks (Jonsson Kings Park)14 July: South Africa A (Mbombela Stadium)17 July: Vodacom Bulls (Loftus Versfeld)24 July: South Africa, 1st Test (FNB Stadium)31 July: South Africa, 2nd Test (Cape Town Stadium)7 August: South Africa, 3rd Test (Emirates Airline Park) ‘The biggest challenge in rugby’Gatland faces some tough choices in whittling his squad down to 36 (Photo: Getty) Gatland will be leading his third Lions tour as head coach and he was the forwards coach for the last visit to South Africa in 2009.“To put on that Lions jersey is incredibly special,” Gatland said ahead of the announcement.“I’ve been lucky enough to be on a number of Lions tours and seeing those players put the jersey on for the first time – you can see the pride in their faces.“It’s about understanding what has come before you and the famous players who have worn the iconic jersey and those who will come after you. The Lions are regarded as the best of the best and this is the biggest challenge in rugby.
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.”Who will make the squad?Hogg will be hopeful of starting the Tests after missing out in 2017 with injury (Photo: Getty)Gregor Townsend, who will join Gatland on the Lions coaching staff, unsurprisingly believes his Scotland players have done enough to boast more of a presence in the Lions set-up than usual.Stuart Hogg will hardly have needed to do much convincing, but there are those such as Hamish Watson who will be waiting anxiously to see if there is room in a competitive Lions back-row to reward him for an impressive Six Nations.The flanker positions will pose some significant headaches for Gatland with a host of talent available. Watson will be competing with England’s Tom Curry and Sam Underhill, Welsh pair Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi and the Irish contingent of Jack Conan, Josh van der Flier and Tadhg Beirne. A number of those players will have to miss out.Ireland‘s CJ Stander is also an option, with the 31-year-old hoping for the ultimate finale to his career, made special by his South African heritage. He has announced he will retire this summer.The Lions selection committee also have some big decisions to make about the back three, with the superb spring form of Louis Rees-Zammit, Josh Adams and Liam Williams making it likely that all three Welsh fliers could make the plane. The big South-African-born Scotland international Duhan van der Merwe also staked a strong case to join his international captain Hogg on the plane. And that’s before you even get to arguably the best winger in world rugby across the last four years, Jonny May, and two of England’s starting Lions from four years ago, Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly.The versatile Daly is probably the most at-risk of the big-name English backs to miss out, and there is also a chance that Gatland will opt against picking a single Irish player in his back three selection, with none of Hugo Keenan, Jacob Stockdale, Keith Earls and Jordan Larmour making a case that demands a place.Of course, it is not only the Six Nations that will sway Gatland, with domestic and European rugby continuing in earnest in recent months.One man who has been denied the chance to stake his claim in the Champions Cup is 2017 Test starter Johnny Sexton, as an ongoing concussion problem ruled the Irishman out of Leinster’s semi-final at La Rochelle. It would be a major shock were Sexton not to go on tour, but with Owen Farrell, Dan Biggar and Finn Russell all firmly in contention it isn’t completely out of the question.Gatland’s decision has been made for him regarding a couple of potential picks however, with George North rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament just days after lock Joe Launchbury suffered a similar injury. England scrum-half Ben Youngs has also made himself unavailable for selection, leaving Gatland with one less choice at an already tricky position.
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