The British & Irish Lions have confirmed that their 2021 tour to South Africa will go ahead as scheduled.

The series kicks off on Saturday 3 July 2021 when the Lions play the Stormers in Cape Town and culminates in three Tests against the Rugby World Cup champion Springboks on 24 and 31 July and 7 August.

The FNB Stadium in Johannesburg - a venue which has previously hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final - will host the first Test, with the second taking place at Cape Town Stadium and the potentially decisive third game back in Joburg at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final venue Ellis Park.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of disruption to the sporting calendar, but after extensive discussions we are now able to confirm that the Tour dates are as previously announced," said Ben Calveley, British & Irish Lions Managing Director.

"I am particularly pleased that we are able to provide some clarity for all those Lions supporters eager to travel to South Africa next summer."

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said: "The whole of South Africa is looking forward to welcoming the Lions and we continue progressing our plans to provide travelling supporters with a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

The Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. In that time, the Lions have won four Test series, lost eight with one drawn.

Their overall record against the Springboks is played 46, won 17, lost 23 and drawn six.

Ireland's Paul O'Connell captained the tourists to a 2-1 defeat in South Africa on their last visit there in 2009.

Warren Gatland, who will coach the Lions for a third successive campaign, said: "Lions Tours are always unique, but to take on the world champions in their backyard will be something very special.

"Having toured there in 2009 I know the scale of the task ahead of us - playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as playing at altitude, while the Boks will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated.

"History tells you it's a tough place to tour, but I am confident that we can go there and win."