Stormers preparing to take on British & Irish Lions despite fixture uncertainty
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CAPE TOWN – Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman says they have been channelling their focus into their preparation despite all the speculation surrounding their fixture against the British & Irish Lions.
While there has been uncertainty around the schedule and whether John Dobson’s side would face the tourists on Wednesday, July 14 or Saturday, July 17, or even at all, the game will go ahead as the final run-out for the Lions before they face the Springboks in the first of three Tests at Cape Town Stadium on July 24.
However, on Monday, when director of rugby Rassie Erasmus named the SA ‘A’ side to face Warren Gatland’s squad on Wednesday, the World Cup-winning coaching emphatically stated that he would much rather have the SA ‘A’ side, as opposed to the Stormers, face the Lions on Saturday, saying that he would ‘beg for a second game’ as the Boks look to increase their match preparation for the Test series.
It has since been confirmed that the Bulls will take on the SA ‘A’ side as a curtain-raiser to the Stormers’ match against the Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday to help the Boks prepare for the Series.
When asked what they’ve made of Erasmus’ comments regarding their fixture against the Lions, Snyman said: “It’s sort of out of our hands, there have always been rumours and reports and at one stage we weren’t sure whether we would play Wednesday or Saturday, but we have just kept our heads down and continued our preparation. It looks like we will be playing.
He went on to explain that the Stormers, who headed into a bio-bubble of their own from last Thursday, have been enjoying their preparation time together while maintaining strict safety protocols.
“I think it's been good for the team to be together, we got a bit of time to be together and review where we are as a team. We have been able to make sure we progress, so it’s been nice to go out and train at Newlands every day. The energy and the vibe in the group is still great, so it’s been a good few days.
“We are in a very strict bubble, even the hotel staff get tested. The players don’t even hang out in each others’ rooms, so it is really strict.”