British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa live and exclusive on Sky Sports in 2021
British & Irish Lions vs world champion Springboks, plus five warm-up matches between July 3-August 7 2021, all live and exclusive on Sky Sports
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 15/07/20 9:05pm
Sky Sports will exclusively show the British & Irish Lions' three-Test series against the Springboks in South Africa in 2021, as well as their five warm-up matches.
This agreement means Sky Sports will show its seventh successive Lions tour, a partnership that will enter its 25th year in 2021.
The Lions will face the Springboks in three Tests - all exclusively live on Sky. The rights also include each of the five warm-up matches.
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS TOUR 2021 FIXTURES
|Saturday 3rd July 2021||DHL Stormers||Cape Town||Cape Town Stadium|
|Wednesday 7th July 2021||South Africa 'Invitational'||Port Elizabeth||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium|
|Saturday 10th July 2021||Cell C Sharks||Durban||Jonsson Kings Park|
|Wednesday 14th July 2021||South Africa 'A'||Nelspruit||Mbombela Stadium|
|Saturday 17th July 2021||Vodacom Bulls||Pretoria||Loftus Versfeld|
|Saturday 24th July 2021||South Africa||Johannesburg||FNB Stadium|
|Saturday 31st July 2021||South Africa||Cape Town||Cape Town Stadium|
|Saturday 7th August 2021||South Africa||Johannesburg||Emirates Airline Park|
As with the previous two clashes between the Lions and the Springboks, the hosts will come into the series as world champions. The Lions won the series 2-1 in 1997, while South Africa went on to claim victory by the same margin in 2009.
The 2009 series hinged on a 52-metre last-gasp penalty from Morne Steyn in the second Test, which sealed a memorable 28-25 victory for South Africa. Warren Gatland was the forwards coach for that tour, but this time the 56-year-old will be head coach, having been confirmed for his third stint at the helm.
"Lions Tours are always unique, but to take on the world champions in their backyard will be something very special," said Gatland.
"Having toured there in 2009 I know the scale of the task ahead of us - playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as playing at altitude, while the Boks will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated.
"History tells you it's a tough place to tour, but I am confident that we can go there and win.
"Sky Sports always do an excellent job covering the Tour, so I am delighted they are on board again."
The tour of South Africa follows a spectacular series in New Zealand in 2017, in which the Lions fought back to secure a share of the spoils, with the deciding Test match ending in a nail-biting draw.
Rob Webster, Sky Sports Managing Director, said: "There are a handful of events in the sporting calendar that truly transcend their sport, and a Lions Tour is one of them. It's a moment in time, where the home nations come together to take on the best in the world.
"We're hugely proud of our association with the Lions, and we're looking forward to bringing our customers every twist and turn of what is sure to be a spectacular Tour."
Lions fans will be able to follow the tour 24 hours a day on Sky Sports News, via the Sky Sports app, on SkySports.com and via Sky Sports social channels.
Every match from South Africa will be exclusively live on Sky Sports, and fans who don't have Sky will be able to catch all the action via streaming service NOW TV, which offers day, week and month passes to all 11 Sky Sports channels.