British & Irish Lions

Brits: British & Irish Lions will be seeking Springbok payback

2019 World Cup winner Schalk Brits believes next year's British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa will be a blockbuster event.

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On the SA Rugby podcast, all three Springbok hookers - Brits, Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx - from the World Cup squad last year gave their thoughts on next year's main event from a South African rugby perspective.  

While Brits has now retired from all rugby, his decade-long career with Saracens means he knows how much a Lions tour means to the English, in particular, and he is expecting the intensity to be heightened even further in 2021 because of what happened in the 2019 World Cup final when the Boks beat England 32-12.  

"The Lions are a very special outfit and it only comes around every 12 years to South Africa. From that perspective, I know a lot of the UK boys are frothing at the mouth to come and play the Springboks in South Africa," Brits said. 

"I think it's payback time for a lot of the English boys.

"It's a very exciting Lions tour ahead. It's the world champions against one of the best outfits ever in the Lions. They will be very dangerous."

Marx, meanwhile, says he is not taking anything for granted in terms of his own participation in the series. 

"I'd love to be a part of that and there is obviously hard work that has to be put in now with staying focused and keeping your eye on the prize," he said.

"I can't rely on previous performances and previous years to get me into that side. I have to work hard and earn my place in the team.

"They only come around every 12 years, so it would be a great honour for me to experience that."

For Mbonambi, the opportunity to play in a Lions series is something he has thought about ever since 2009.

"I was in high school when they last toured. I watched all the games on TV and I still have memories of people like Beast Mtawarira, Bryan Habana and all those legendary Springboks," he said.

"Since then, it was my goal to be part of something special like that.

"I'm pretty sure it's the goal of every player in South Africa to actually play against the British & Irish Lions."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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