18.1.2021 05:40 pm
“We don’t care how we play them and we’ll go to Option Z if necessary,” said a hell-bent Director of Rugby, who added numerous players had extended their careers for the chance to face the Lions.
Speculation has been little short of rampant in recent weeks over the fate of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa later this year, but there were no mixed messages from director of rugby Rassie Erasmus on Monday when he said the Springboks “will do anything” to ensure they play the famous tourists.
A team spokesperson confirmed on Sunday that Cricket South Africa had to make urgent late arrangements after an announcement from Emirates Airlines.
The 16 teams will be divided into two pools of eight, made up of two Irish, two South African, two Welsh, one Italian and one Scottish club.
The Pool B fixtures, which will be played between the Cobras, Lions and Warriors, are scheduled to take place from 22-30 January at the same venue in a bio-secure environment.
It is an Olympic year and the outside centre would like to be in the mix for a return to the Springbok Sevens squad as well.
It is the first tour by the South Africans to the country in 14 years and they will play two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
One of the big stars of the Currie Cup competition honed his skills under the watchful eyes of seasoned kickers Van Straaten and Koen.
Pakistan and South Africa will play the first Test in Karachi from January 26.
The 20-year-old left-arm fast bowler is number two in the Leading Wicket Takers column of this season’s CSA 4-Day Franchise Series.
There are also rumours that Bongi Mbonambi and World Rugby Player-of-the-Year Pieter-Steph du Toit are headed to the east coast.
“I’m excited about this group we have selected, and the players have a great opportunity to continue with the great strides they have made at this level,” said coach Hilton Moreeng.
“We have selected a squad after analysing the performance in New Zealand and areas of improvement are identified,” said chief selector Mohammad Wasim.
The Group B fixtures will take place from 22-30 January at the same venue, which is staging the competition in a bio-secure environment (BSE).
Pace bowlers are also likely to play a much bigger role than elsewhere on the subcontinent and Boucher says he is pleased to have a bowling coach like Charl Langeveldt who has such a sound knowledge of reverse-swing.
Nortje has shown himself to be a player in the same mould as Springbok lock Franco Mostert, who was a key part of the Lions side that dominated local rugby between 2016 and 2018.