British & Irish Lions to contest a perpetual trophy for the first time when they face the Springboks

Liam Del Carme Sports reporter
The Springboks.
The Springboks.

The tour of the British & Irish Lions came into even sharper focus on Wednesday with the announcement that the tourists will be contesting a perpetual trophy for the first time when they travel to South Africa later this year.

Whether the tour would take place has been the subject of much conjecture‚ but the announcement that some silverware will be up for grabs will bring renewed hope that the tourists will make it to these shores despite the ravages of the pandemic.

A day before the touring squad is unveiled‚ SA Rugby announced that the winner of the series will be the recipients of the first perpetual trophy in the history of the British & Irish Lions.

SA Rugby said in a statement: “It took more than 150 hours to make the trophy‚ which was hand-crafted by Thomas Lyte – official silverware supplier to the British & Irish Lions – and stands 60cm tall and weighs 6.5kg. The main body of the trophy was handspun from a single sheet of sterling silver‚ while the base is handmade from sapele hardwood.”

They added the trophy will be presented to the winner of the series and will go into a trophy cabinet in either the northern or southern hemisphere‚ before reappearing in 2025 when the British & Irish Lions continue their storied history with a series in Australia.

Lions coach Warren Gatland will announce his 36-man squad tomorrow with Wales captain Alun Wynn Jones widely tipped to lead the side.

The team is supposed to play three Tests but the initial programme looks likely to be altered.