VIDEO: B&I Lions planning to turn South Africa red
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Warren Gatland believes his 2021 British & Irish Lions squad will look the part in South Africa after the unveiling of the tour jersey.
The British & Irish Lions are scheduled to face the Springboks in a three-Test match series, starting on July 24 at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg – a venue which last hosted the Springboks in 2013.
The second Test follows on Saturday, July 31 at the Cape Town Stadium – the first Lions Test in the Mother City since 1997 – before the British and Irish tourists return to Gauteng for the final Test on Saturday, August 7 at Ellis Park – the storied venue of the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final.
“The jersey looks awesome,” said the head coach, who was previously in charge of the 2013 and 2017 tours. “Lions supporters, as well as the players, are going to love it too.
“Some of the best experiences I’ve had as a Lions coach have been looking out across a stadium ahead of a match and seeing a ‘Sea of Red’ of Lions jerseys. Literally entire stands turned red; it’s an incredible thing to witness and creates an atmosphere that is truly unique to the Lions.”
Do we need to say anything else? pic.twitter.com/ZqURfnm01e
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) October 28, 2020
To help launch the kit, the designers enlisted the help of players and staff at Moseley Rugby Club. The Birmingham-based club was chosen as it is one of the oldest Lions Origin Clubs – an initiative which honours teams who have developed Lions players and allows them to proudly wear a celebratory badge on their kits – having first produced Lion #50, Fred Byrne, who toured South Africa in 1896.
“Becoming a Lion takes hard work and dedication and is the pinnacle of a player’s rugby career,” said Simon Rowe, Canterbury’s global head of sports marketing.
“In designing this jersey, we looked deeper into what it takes to reach that elite level and what becomes clear is that they didn’t get to the top on their own.”
Introducing your @lionsofficial Pro jersey 🦁🔥
— Canterbury🏉 (@canterburyNZ) October 28, 2020