FILE - According to reports, the Lions Board has come to the conclusion that playing their upcoming tour in South Africa remains the best option. Photo: David Gray/Reuters
FILE - According to reports, the Lions Board has come to the conclusion that playing their upcoming tour in South Africa remains the best option. Photo: David Gray/Reuters

British and Irish Lions board prefer tour to take place in South Africa – report

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Mar 23, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG – The British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa will take place in the country, if a new report from the UK is to be believed.

As reported by The Telegraph, the Lions Board has come to the conclusion that hosting the touring team in South Africa remains the best option, despite the uncertainties that remain due to Covid-19, and the participation of supporters at the matches. An official statement, the article explained, is expected to be released regarding the tour within the next 48 hours.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is believed to back the decision to host the tour in SA, regardless of any uncertainties.

ALSO READ: SA Rugby desperate to salvage Lions tour, asks government to allow 50% stadium entry

“If it is possible, the RFU is supportive of the Lions tour going ahead in South Africa as planned,” said an RFU spokesperson to The Telegraph. “Ultimately, the decision will be made by the Lions Board together with Saru, and the welfare of players will be central to any decision made.”

If the tour is to go ahead as scheduled, then the first match will be played by the Lions against the Stormers on July 3. Three Test matches against the world champions Springboks will be played from July 24 at FNB Stadium, Cape Town Stadium and Emirates Airline Park. Due to continued Covid-19 restrictions, fans are still not permitted at major sporting events, although it has been reported that SA Rugby are hard at work in an attempt to at least have some participation at all the matches.

Previously, there were discussions that the tour would take place in London, but it now seems apparent that organising such an event in such a short space of time is unattainable. Rugby Australia also proposed that the tour be held in that country, but this has been rebuffed as it is not viable.

ALSO READ: UK to host British and Irish Lions tour?

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