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June Internationals 2017

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The headline tour is of course the Rugby Union team known as The British and Irish Lions (The Lions).

I have often wondered why England and in this case Britain (& The Irish) embrace The African Lion as their iconic emblem. The English Footbal Team and their cricket counterparts embrace the 3 Lions. Of course I know about history and Richard the Lionheart but what about more local emblems? The Great Britain mammal fauna is somewhat impoverished compared to that of continental Europe due to the short period of time between the last Ice Age and the flooding of the land bridge between Great Britain and the rest of Europe. Only those land species which crossed before the creation of the English Channel and those introduced by humans exist in Great Britain.

So they are somewhat limited to animals like The Rabbit! I recently asked a Britrish friend why the Labour Party insisted on retaining that name when in fact there are no longer any real British labourers. Those that they have are Poles or Slavs.

Anyhow, the Northern hemisphere have to provide consistent employment for their Rugby Union players and so they all head off to some Southern Hemisphere country to relearn the game and catch up on the way that the modern game is evolving.

The Lions head off to New Zealand where (shammed injuries aside) they have a half-decent chance of taking at least one Test off the All Blacks - ha ha I'm kidding of course. They may beat one or two of the "provincial teams" depending on how many top players the franchises allow to play against the Northern Interlopers. They play 7 provincial games and 3 Tests.

Before "The Big Show", The ABs play a Test against Samoa with a curtain raiser played between Tonga v Wales. Wales then go to Samoa.

The next important team, Scotland, head off to what may be described as an Island Jaunt. The go to Australasia to play the convicts in a one-off and then on to Fiji before which they very sensibly travel to Singapore to play Italy.

So obviously Italy play Australia, Fiji and Scotland. I have to make the point that Singapore is actually in the NH but as long as you look at a very small map, only just!

England head off to play another series of the Falklands War on the mainland in two games.

Ireland go to America and then on to Japan. Soi strictly speaking they also miss out on a possible lesson on how to play the game we play in the SH.

Georgia travel to the Americas where they will play Canada, the United States and Argentina in succession. Romania, who no longer take part in the World Rugby Nations Cup, will play three one-off matches; Japan, Canada and Brazil. The Brazilian test will be a historic first between the two nations, having never played each other before and the first time since Brazil played a France XV side in 1985 that they have played a team in a higher tier than them outside any tournament/competitive competition. Before that test, Brazil will play host to Portugal. It will also be an historic match when Kenya hosts Germany with both teams never played each other before.

Of course we in South Africa welcome The French team and one must wonder what kind of team will be sent here. Three Tests plus a French Barbarians team playing against the Bok "A Team". The French come here to find out how not to play the game as other SH teams play. We play a completely different brand which I call "who knows and who cares?"

By the way we have a SuperSupporterBrus Pool taking part in the June Internationals competition.




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