B&I Lions happy to face Georgia in wake of Covid-19 impact

British & Irish Lions assistant coach Steve Tandy has suggested that the tourists would be more than willing to face Georgia if both teams have their games cancelled this weekend.

The Lions were set to face the Bulls in the third match of their 2021 tour of South Africa, following their matches against the Johannesburg Lions and Sharks.

However, the game has been thrown into heavy doubt and could be called off due to several Bulls players and a member of the team’s management returning positive Covid-19 tests.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s second Test against the Springboks on Friday is also in doubt after Bok lock Lood de Jager returned a positive Covid-19 test. Due to his close contact with a number of squad members, the entire group has gone into isolation.

The entire team and management had PCR tests again on Tuesday morning, and will remain in isolation until the results and subsequent recommendations are received from the Medical Advisory Group (MAG).

During a Lions media conference on Tuesday, assistant coach Tandy was asked whether, due to the potential cancellations of the two matches, they would be willing to face Georgia as an alternative, given that both teams are currently in Gauteng.

“Anything is possible through Covid. We have seen that. If there is an opportunity if a game is called off to play a game, then that would be great for us and for whoever else is looking for a game,” Tandy answered.

“We haven’t confirmed anything but we have spoken. We will travel down to Cape Town over the weekend so we would probably give an extra day off, potentially maybe train a little bit harder on the Friday, but again that would be something that we would firm up when we get confirmation around what will happen.

“There has nothing been confirmed. It hasn’t affected the mood in the camp. The boys trained well this morning [Tuesday] and it’s just about gearing up for tomorrow night [against the Sharks]. The focus is on us getting better and improving and building on the last couple of performances. There are a couple of more people making their debuts for the Lions, so it’s exciting times.”

Photo: Billy Stickland/INPHO

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Dylan Jack