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The Lions scheduled tour of South Africa will go ahead next summer - despite clashing with the re-fixed Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

It was announced yesterday that the rescheduled Olympics will run between the 23rd of July and the 8th of August 2021 following their historic postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Warren Gatland's Lions are set to face the reigning World champions South Africa in a three-match series, with the first Test taking place on the 24th of July.

But Lions managing director Ben Calveley believes the time differences between Europe and South Africa and Japan should mean little impact on TV viewership of the series.

"The priority right now has to be the safety and wellbeing of all those affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic,” he told the Reuters news agency.

“We are determined to play our part in what will be an extraordinary summer of sport. There should not be any direct clashes with Lions matches and Olympic events given the time difference between South Africa and Tokyo, so fans should not miss out on any action.

“We are expecting a fantastic series against the world champions.”

It will, however, leave South African players Cheslin Kolbe, Kwagga Smith and Ruhan Nel having to make a choice between lining out for the 'Boks against the Lions or playing for the South Africa 7s at the Olympics.

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