According to Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, next year’s tour of the British and Irish Lions to South Africa will pose a massive challenge to his team.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has offered effusive praise for the British and Irish Lions and their coach Warren Gatland. Rugby fans can book Springboks vs British and lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
Gatland will coach the Lions for the third time when they tour South Africa in 2021, completing the traditional set having already taken the team to Australia and his native New Zealand.
Formerly the coach of Wales, Gatland has taken up a position with the Chiefs who will grant him leave to mentor the Lions. His time in Waikato has made a rough start with the team failing to win a match in Super Rugby Aotearoa to date.
BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS WILL BE READY TO FACE SPRINGBOKS
Nienaber expects Gatland’s Lions to be a different prospect though and is relishing testing himself against the veteran coach.
“Warren Gatland’s coaching ability and experience, and the teams he assembled on their two previous tours to Australia and New Zealand, speaks for itself,” said Nienaber.
“The series victory in Australia was their first in 16 years since they beat the Boks in 1997, and we know how tough it is to get a win or a draw in New Zealand.
“Warren and his coaching staff are very experienced in the Lions set-up, what is needed to fuse players from four teams and four different styles of play, and what buttons to press to unlock the emotions, skill sets and grunt from various countries.
“They will certainly have all their ducks in a row and it will be a massive challenge for us.”
ONE EYE ON THE CHIEFS
Nienaber said that he and his technical team had one eye on what Gatland was doing at the Chiefs to perhaps glean some insights.
“The negative for us, is that we don’t know what type of playing style they will bring to South Africa,” said Nienaber.
“We’re watching Warren with the Chiefs at the moment, to see what direction they are taking as he might bring some of that over to SA next year. There certainly is enough intrigue and storylines involved that makes for one massive clash next year.”
The British and Irish Lions are set to play eight matches in all in South Africa with five tour games augmenting the three Tests.
The first Test in the three-match series is slated to take place on Saturday 24 July 2021 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. A week later they will face the Springboks again at Newlands before the series wraps up back in Johannesburg at Ellis Park.
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