Cape Town - The 2021 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa, if it wasn’t already, has become even more of a marketers’ dream.

That much is guaranteed by the presence of both the Springboks and England in Saturday’s World Cup final in Yokohama.

Whichever way the result goes, there are going to be attractive, near-rematches of heightened gravitas in less than two years’ time when the Boks host the Lions - and their sea of red-jerseyed travelling supporters - for three Tests.

The tour will also feature five other provincial-type fixtures around the country, making it the shortest Lions visit yet, although that has already begun to become a trend in an era where British/European clubs are increasingly reluctant to release their prime personnel for major lengths of time on an already cluttered, gruelling annual roster.

There had also been fears about the quality of local, non-Test opposition to the Lions, given the massive volume of South African professionals now playing their trade abroad.

But the main event will undoubtedly be the Tests ... and any doubts about the ability of the Boks themselves to be properly competitive (reason for at least a semblance of concern around 18 months to two years ago) have been thoroughly dispelled by their profound resurgence under Rassie Erasmus.

If the Boks lift the Webb Ellis Cup, their status as World Cup champions will be a fitting tag for the Lions tour purposes - they were also the holders in the last Lions tour here in 2009, considering their RWC triumph under Jake White/John Smit in 2007.

But if England win at the weekend, it will also be a case of a likely, very English-heavy Lions squad coming to the home of the World Cup runners-up, so ensuring a particularly sizzling billing anyway as the Boks aim for a pleasing sense of revenge over many of their possible nemeses in Yokohama.

Remember that modern Lions parties have traditionally been dominated by England stars: for example, when the composite team last went abroad - touring New Zealand in 2017 in a pulsating series split 1-1 with one draw - they monopolised the berths with 16 representatives in the initially-named group of 41. (Next best was Wales with a dozen.)

If England do win the Webb Ellis Cup for a second time, they are highly likely to have another swollen list of players in the Lions 2021 squad, despite the fact that there will be two editions of the annual Six Nations competition in the northern hemisphere ahead of the tour, which will also serve as important yardsticks for selection.

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