The long wait is finally over. Seven years since South Africa last hosted a Super Rugby final, the decider of the Southern Hemisphere tournament is back in the country.
The reason? The Lions.
The Johannesburg outfit have been sensational in 2017, and while they didn’t face any New Zealand opposition during the league phase of the tournament, that all changed when they took on the Hurricanes in the semi-finals, in a repeat of the 2016 Final.
Last year’s match ended in a 20-3 victory for the New Zealanders, but it was a different story last Saturday at Emirates Airline Park, as the Lions put an extremely poor first half behind them to destroy the ‘Canes 44-29 and book their place in the final at the same venue.
Lying in wait will be another Kiwi side, the Crusaders, who will be out to capture their 8th Super Rugby title. In stark contrast, the Lions are looking to become the first South African side other than the Bulls to win the tournament, although they did emerge victorious in the 1993 Super 10 campaign as then Transvaal, before rugby turned professional.
While matches at Emirates Airline Park this season have been far from sell-outs, Saturday is expected to be a wholly different affair, with queues already growing outside the ticket offices at the stadium.
The Super Rugby Final is coming to Jozi, and fans better be there.