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British and Irish Lions: Playing South Africa checks in UK & Ireland is contingency plan

by newsking24

The Lions board is eager to make sure the collection with South Africa goes forward in entrance of followers

The British and Irish Lions collection with South Africa may very well be held within the UK and Ireland if Covid-19 prevents followers from travelling.

That is among the many contingency plans mentioned by the Lions board within the occasion the journey must be deserted.

Instead, video games can be performed in Edinburgh, London, Cardiff, and Dublin.

The South African rugby union has beforehand made it clear {that a} tour with out visiting followers wouldn’t be commercially viable for them.

The Lions board can also be regarded as unenthusiastic concerning the Idea.

However, it’s hoped {that a} vaccine would permit for followers to attend video games within the UK by summer season.

In a press release on Saturday the Lions board introduced that they’d been having “repeated meetings to discuss all scenarios available and is in constant dialogue”.

A warm-up contest with Japan is already scheduled for Murrayfield in Edinburgh on 26 June.

After that, the unique plan is for the Lions to journey to South Africa to play 5 provincial video games earlier than the three-Test collection in opposition to the world champions.

The revised plan would doubtless see the Test matches held at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and Wembley and Twickenham in London.

Government restrictions at the moment forbid followers from attending, however even when restrictions are lifted, the Lions board is frightened that such a big motion of individuals might put any Covid-19 restoration in jeopardy.

It had been mooted that the tour is perhaps delayed till 2022, however all 4 nations have Test matches scheduled for that summer season window and usually are not eager on that swap.

Lions managing director Ben Calveley mentioned: “It will meet throughout January and into February, if required, to review all relevant information and data.

“After additional session with SA Rugby, we are going to replace on the result of those conferences sooner or later.”

Fixtures

The case to play in Britain & Ireland

Former Lions tourist Ugo Monye on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast

Imagine Old Trafford, St James’ Park, Wembley Stadium, Millennium Stadium, Murrayfield – for me that would be unbelievable.

But we don’t have the certainty in the UK to be able to host any sport at the moment. The idea could only be entertained if we fully believe we can have crowds back so the Lions could make more money out of it – because that’s what it’s going to come down to.

The case to postpone till 2022

Monye on delaying until the year before the World Cup and the impact on player welfare

You’ve played uninterrupted Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup, then you have a six or seven-week tour with the Lions. Then you have a short pre-season before you’re back into the club season.

The tour I went on, I think there were seven or eight English guys on that tour. I think everyone bar two players had major surgery that following season.

BBC Sport rugby correspondent Chris Jones

The whole point of a Lions tour is the band of brothers going into hostile environments away from home. The Lions tour should be done in South Africa with travelling fans or not done at all.

The case to play in South Africa without fans

Monye, who toured South Africa with the Lions in 2009

We know the cash injection it gives to these Southern Hemisphere nations every 12 years. They need it. It’s just not worth it. The fans, just like the Six Nations, are such an integral part of the experience.

It plays a massive factor in the success of a team. You have got 10s of thousands of fans who have probably already booked to go there. Behind closed doors, it doesn’t interest me. I wouldn’t even table it as an option.”

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