South Africa v Lions Rugby Betting Preview & Odds 2021

Can the Lions claim a Series win against the Springboks as a thrilling Rugby duel looms?

Kwagga Smith / South Africa ©IMAGO / Focus Images 07/18/2021

With all of the preliminary warm-ups out of the way, it’s down to the big business of South Africa v Lions rugby betting on the weekend.

The Three Test Series kicks off on Saturday with an interesting situation in rugby betting ahead of the event.

There’s little to choose between the two outfits in terms of who wins the Series. There’s going to be high pressure on both sides to try and draw first blood.

In this South Africa v Lions Rugby betting preview, we take a look at the latest odds and news ahead of this cracking series.

South Africa v British and Irish Lions Series Winner

Lions 4/5
South Africa 11/10
Draw 18/1

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When and where is the South Africa v Lions Series?

This is a three-match series which starts on July 27th in Cape Town. There’s no rest for the teams as the three fixtures are all played on consecutive weekends.

So not only is South Africa v Lions rugby going to be about skill, but it’s also going to be a real survival of the fittest as well.

The final two matches of the series are due to be played in Johannesburg.

24 July – First Test v South Africa, 17:00 BST (Cape Town)

31 July – Second Test v South Africa, 17:00 BST (Johannesburg)

7 August – Third Test v South Africa, 17:00 BST (Johannesburg)

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Who made the Lions Squad?

Head coach Warren Gatland has already had to make some changes to his initial squad for the Lions Tour 2021. That’s because of injuries. But the big news was that captain Alun Wyn Jones returned to the squad ahead of the series.

The Wales captain looked at one point to have been written out of the series entirely. That was due to a dislocated shoulder injury. But he has produced an astonishing recovery to rejoin the squad.

Forwards: Adam Beard (Wal), Tadhg Beirne (Ire), Jack Conan (Ire), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Eng), Tom Curry (Eng), Zander Fagerson (Sco), Taulupe Faletau (Wal), Tadhg Furlong (Ire), Jamie George (Eng), Iain Henderson (Ire), Jonny Hill (Eng), Maro Itoje (Eng), Alun Wyn Jones (Wal), Wyn Jones (Wal), Ronan Kelleher (Ire), Courtney Lawes (Eng), Josh Navidi (Wal), Ken Owens (Wal), Sam Simmonds (Eng), Kyle Sinckler (Eng), Rory Sutherland (Sco), Mako Vunipola (Eng), Hamish Watson (Sco).

Backs: Josh Adams (Wal), Bundee Aki (Ire), Dan Biggar (Wal), Elliot Daly (Eng), Gareth Davies (Wal), Owen Farrell (Eng), Chris Harris (Sco), Robbie Henshaw (Ire), Stuart Hogg (Sco), Conor Murray (Ire), Ali Price (Sco), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wal), Finn Russell (Sco), Marcus Smith (Eng), Duhan van der Merwe (Sco), Anthony Watson (Eng), Liam Williams (Wal).

South Africa v Lions Rugby First Test Odds

Lions 4/5
South Africa 23/20
Draw 18/1
* (odds recorded at William Hill on July 18th, 2021 at 23:15 GMT)

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British and Irish Lions Build Up

The build-up from the Lions for this Tour started back on June 26th with an opening 28-10 victory over Japan at Murrayfield.

Their first match in South Africa saw the Lions take a 56-14 win at the Sigma Lions in early July, before running up another 50-point haul in beating the Cell C Sharks.

The Lions went further post 71 points in a second victory over the Cell C Sharks. Then the tourists were brought down to earth a little bit.

In the toughest match of their Tour outside of the Series, they took South Africa A on July 14th.

The Springboks were loaded with players who will be featuring during the actual Series and the Lions were defeated 17-13.

Into the second half of that fixture, South Africa A just looked to be toying with the Lions. That result and performance left Warren Gatland with some thinking to do.

In their final warm-up match ahead of the Series, the Lions thumped the DHL Stormers 49-3.

South Africa v Lions Rugby Betting – Series Correct Score

3-0 Lions 10/3
2-1 Lions 2/1
2-0 Lions 66/1
Drawn Series 16/1
3-0 South Africa 11/2
2-1 South Africa 5/2
2-0 South Africa 80/1

The British and Irish Lions 2009 Tour of South Africa

It’s been over a decade since the Lions toured South Africa. Back in 2009, they went there with very high hopes and it was arguably, one of the greatest Lions tours in memory.

The British and Irish Lions lost the Series 2-1 and the damage was done in the first two Tests. But they were both bruising and very close encounters.

South Africa won the first Test 26-21 and then by a narrower margin of 28-25 in the second Test.

The Lions roared back to finish with a flourish by winning the dead rubber of the Third test 28-9.

Our betting prediction:
Lions to win the Series

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* (odds recorded on July 18th, 2021 at 23:15 GMT)


South Africa’s preparations

The preparations for South Africa have been a bit thin, to say the least. In early June they named a squad for two-Test series against Georgia.

Just a month later the squad had to be isolated because of health issues. They played just one of the scheduled fixtures against Georgia, the Springboks winning 40-9.

So the only actual Test that they have played since winning the World Cup against England in November 2019 was that fixture against Georgia on July 2nd.

Their final warm-up match ahead of this season, saw a much-changed South Africa A take on the Bulls in Cape Town.

They lost that match, their fringe players not doing their chances of making the starting XV on Saturday much good.

But the full side is a quote of 11/10 in Rugby Betting to win Saturday’s first Test* (odds recorded on July 18th, 2021 at 23:15 GMT)

Of note, South Africa withdrew from last year’s Rugby Championship because of travel restrictions.

When will the Series Be Decided?

2nd Test Match 8/11
3rd Test Match Evens
* (odds recorded on July 18th, 2021 at 23:15 GMT)

South Africa v British & Irish Lions Head to Head

There’s a long history between the two of these.

South Africa hold a head to head lead from the international Test rugby matches against the Lions.

South Africa are W23 D17 L6 from their previous matches against the Lions. It is a points difference of +84 that they hold from those matches.

The only nation in the World that South Africa doesn’t have a positive head to head record against is New Zealand.

South Africa v Lions Predictions 2021 – Rugby Betting

All the distractions that both teams have had ahead of this Test series just throws an unpredictable and yet exciting edge into the mix.

South Africa are the reigning World Champions but have played such little rugby as a unit since lifting the title in 2019.

But the South Africa A team that took on the Lions earlier this month, the show being run by the brilliant Faf de Klerk, showed what they are capable of.

It was a lot of control that they had in that match and with the likes of influential Morne Steyn and the game-changer that is Chelslin Kolbe, the Lions are going to have to be on their toes.

The Lions are the 4/5 odds-on favourites in Rugby betting to win that opening match of the Series* (odds recorded at William Hill on July 18th, 2021 at 23:15 GMT).


Key Facts – South Africa v Lions stats

  • South Africa have won 50% of matches against the Lions (W23 L17 D6)
  • The Springboks have played one full test since winning the 2019 World Cup
  • The Lions lost their last Tour of South Africa 2-1 in 2019


If they can pull that off, then that would just ignite this Series even further.

The Lions were not at it physically against South Africa A, nor was their kicking game or ability to clear out. South Africa brings the physically. Always. It’s part of their nature.

If the Lions can match that, that could be half the battle won.

As the British and Irish Lions have had more playing time, we are going with them to get this series off to a flyer by winning the first match. The Lions are 3/4 in rugby betting to do that* (odds recorded at William Hill on July 18th, 2021 at 23:15 GMT).

We don’t see any of the matches in this series being settled by a wide margin at all. A Lions -2.5 handicap is at a quote of 11/10* (odds recorded at William Hill on July 18th, 2021 at 23:15 GMT).