Lions can 'adapt' to Covid disruption in South Africa

4 months ago 3117
Steve TandyFormer Ospreys flanker Steve Tandy was the Welsh region's head coach between 2012 and 2018
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg Date: Wednesday, 7 July Kick-off: 18:00 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

The British and Irish Lions are ready to "adapt" if Covid-19 cases in South Africa disrupt their tour, says defence coach Steve Tandy.

There are also reports that Saturday's game against Vodacom Bulls is in doubt.external-link

"You can have the best laid plans but things move really quickly and things can change," said Tandy ahead of Wednesday's game against Cell C Sharks.

"So it's just being prepared for whatever comes our way at whatever time and also just seeing where the group are... so we'll just adapt as we go along.

"There's been nothing confirmed [about the Bulls game]. There's been a lot of speculation around but it hasn't affected the mood in the camp."

The Lions are preparing to face the Sharks in Johannesburg in their second tour match on Wednesday, with a further three fixtures to play before their three-Test series against South Africa begins on 24 July.

The Springboks are due to play Georgia on Friday, having previously suspended training on 27 June because of three positive tests, but were later cleared to play.

A statement from SA Rugby said the current isolation was "preventative" and that the squad would have "further testing".

There is no suggestion that the Lions' Test series is under threat but it remains to be seen how reports of positive tests in the Bulls' camp may affect Saturday's tour match.

If it was to be postponed it could cause the Lions a headache, as head coach Warren Gatland and his staff aim to use these warm-up fixtures to prepare their team for the Tests against the Springboks.

Asked how a postponement on Saturday would affect the Lions' plans, Tandy said: "We haven't confirmed anything, we've spoken about it.

"We travel down to Cape Town over the weekend so we might give an extra day off potentially, maybe train a little bit harder on the Friday.

"As coaches we talk about it but what you learn through Covid is that you have to adapt."

There have been no positive coronavirus tests in the Lions' camp yet.

"It's something we're constantly reminded of. There's no risk in what we're doing," added Tandy, who joined the Lions' staff having impressed as Scotland defence coach.

"We're tested three or four times a week and everything's sanitised and everyone's on their best behaviour, because nobody wants to jeopardise this tour in any way, shape or form."

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