FILE: British and Irish Lions players seen at the anthem ceremony in 2017. Photo: Raghavan Venugopal/www.Photosport.nz
FILE: British and Irish Lions players seen at the anthem ceremony in 2017. Photo: Raghavan Venugopal/www.Photosport.nz

Springboks and British and Irish Lions could be in a bio-bubble

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Mar 25, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - If the discussions around the British & Irish Lions tour go to “Plan B”, the series could take place in Gauteng exclusively, with all games possibly played in empty stadiums.

Reports from England have emerged stating that if spectators are not allowed, the tour may take place only in Johannesburg and Pretoria to ensure that teams maintain a safe bio-bubble environment amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Until now, a number avenues have been considered to ensure the tour goes ahead this year.

As part of a revised schedule, all eight matches - including the warm-up games and the three Tests against the Springboks - being played in Joburg and Pretoria is another option after an agreement was finally reached that the tour should proceed to South Africa after the option of the

UK playing host was dismissed and Australia's offer to have the matches Down Under was also shelved.

In a press release issued by SA Rugby on Tuesday, confirming the decision to have SA host the quadrennial event, Saru president Mark

Alexander, who explained that the original schedule was subject to review, said that there “are serious financial implications for SA Rugby, should the event take place without any supporters in attendance, and we cannot ignore that in our considerations.”He added: “But we are determined that the eventual outcome will deliver the best occasion and experience for players, supporters and our commercial partners.

“We appreciate the Lions' faith and share their desire to see a safe and successful tour.”

ALSO READ: Australia boss 'surprised' Lions tour going ahead in South Africa

Saru assured those who purchased tickets through the ticket ballot or as part of the official hospitality programme that they would be entitled to a full refund and that those who had bought official travel packages would be contacted in due course.

@WynonaLouw

@IOLSport

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