The most difficult and fractious of British & Irish Lions tours to SA ended with the deciding third Test on 7 August, but the aftershock of this tour will continue for weeks and months to come.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

The winner of the series between the world champion Springboks and the British & Irish Lions should be the most important memory to take away from this once-in-a-12-year tour. But considering the environment it has been played in and the atmosphere that permeated around it, just about everyone is glad it won’t go on any longer.

The tour, from the field to the boardroom, has felt “angry”. The Test matches have been bludgeoning slugfests, with all joy seemingly sucked from the games. Which is not surprising, as they have played out against a backdrop of an angry, frayed and frankly traumatised country on the edge of an abyss.

Lions tours have been described as rugby’s last great adventure – a throwback to a more innocent time of four-month treks through great southern lands. The rugby was hard, but the revelling was harder. Lifelong friendships were made and bonds forged in a spirit of camaraderie and…



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