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Busy schedule for Lions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content on 15 Jan 2013 at 10:30
Tagged with : , , , , ,

They may not be playing Super Rugby this year, but the Lions are hardly resting on their laurels (as ironic a statement as that may be) while the other South African sides are. The “Lions Challenge” series, an alternative set of fixtures aimed at keeping the troops fresh despite the absence of a Super Rugby berth, kicks off as early as this Saturday, with a match against Russia.

With it being fair to say that the South African rugby-watching public is now thoroughly fed up with this stupid thing we call an “off-season”, I’m going to bet that Saturday night’s game, featuring a new-look Lions side against a Russian national team that lost to UJ last night, will be keenly watched by more than just the regular handful of Lions games. SuperSport will broadcast the game on SS1 and CSN at 19h00 local time – we’re told that the Russians specifically requested a night game in order to avoid playing in the January midday heat, poor things!

The Lions will then go into a round of fairly typical “pre-season” warmups against a number of the Super Rugby sides, with matches against the Cheetahs, Bulls and Kings now forming part of the Challenge series. The Sharks and Stormers will each play a fixture against them later in the year during the Super Rugby test window. The whole purpose of this series, let it not be forgotten, is to keep the Lions players match fit and competitive ahead of their do-or-die Super Rugby promotion games, scheduled for the end of July.

Here’s the full fixture list…

19 January: Lions v Russia – Ellis Park, Johannesburg
23 January: Lions v Cheetahs – Ellis Park
2 February: Lions v Bulls – Orlando Stadium, Soweto
9 February: Lions v Kings – Ellis Park
23 February: Namibia v Lions – Windhoek
16 March: Lions v Mont de Marsan – Ellis Park
13 April: US Invitational v Lions – Ervine, California
20 April: US Invitational v Lions – Vancouver, Canada
27 April: Chicago Lions v Lions – Chicago
11 May: Lions v Agen – Ellis Park
1 June: Lions v Samoa – Ellis Park
8 June: Lions v French Barbarians – Ellis Park
15 June: Lions v Stormers – Ellis Park
21 June: Lions v Sharks – Ellis Park
12 July: Lions v Montpellier – Ellis Park
20 July: Lions v Grenoble – Ellis Park
27 July: Super Rugy promotion/relegation first leg – TBA
3 August: Super Rugby promotion/relegation – Ellis Park


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