Seemingly determined to restore pride with a consolation victory in the 3rd Test in Johannesburg, it has emerged that all 22 of the British and Irish Lions playing squad will be issued with revolutionary new "anti-gouging" safety goggles ahead of the game.
A prototype of the goggles, manufactured by Lions kit supplier Adidas, was given the green light at an emergency session of the IRB Safety Committee in Pretoria late last night and a consignment of the approved goggles is, we understand, due to be delivered to the Lions training camp on Saturday morning.
"It's all a bit last-minute," admitted Lions scrum coach Graham Rowntree, "but we believe that being able to see what's going on without a Springbok finger in our eyes will be a distinct advantage."
Meanwhile, back in the South African camp, coach Peter de Villiers expressed his dismay at the latest developments. Having been forced to offer his insincere apologies for his recent comments following the 2nd Test, de Villiers claimed that the measures taken by the Lions to prevent gouging were "inappropriate and disproportionate."
"This is a wholly unnecessary step," he claimed, "especially after I have this week paid out of my own pocket for each member of the South African squad to have a deluxe manicure."