“We then turn our attention to the weekend, and we know the Bulls can’t put a side, so we’re working with the South African Rugby Union to find alternative opponents for Saturday, or if we can’t rearrange that.” for later in the tour. The approach is to stay calm, focused, and take things one step at a time.
It is understood that any player who tests positive must self-isolate for seven days and close contacts for 48 hours before joining the squad subject to taking further PCR tests. Calveley revealed that not all of the Lions received two doses of the vaccine before they left for South Africa.
Calveley also rejected important suggestions that the entire round of testing would be held in Cape Town, which has a much lower Covid rate than Johannesburg, or even be moved to the UK. The Lions are due to fly to Mother City on Sunday where they are due to play two more warm-up games as well as the first test against the Springboks on July 24. The tour is then scheduled to move to Johannesburg and Calveley insists they plan to stick to that schedule.
“All games are important, but you’re absolutely right, the Test Series is everything,” Calveley said. “We play the game tonight, continue and deal on Saturday, then move to Cape Town on Sunday, and at the moment there is no intention to deviate from that agreed upon schedule. “
Sport Telegraph understands that an alternate opponent was arranged to take the Bulls place on Saturday, but the Lions only have eight full-backs available which will be conditional on further testing. “I have to talk to the medical team and get a report from them,” Gatland said. “We will talk tomorrow to see if there is a game for the weekend. ”