Lions ‘request tour vs South Africa be played in London, Cardiff and Dublin’ following Government roadmap
The British and Irish Lions are hoping to salvage this summer’s tour of South Africa
by bringing it to home soil.
Warren Gatland’s men are set to take on Japan at Murrayfield before traveling to the
southern hemisphere for a series of games in South Africa.
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But the trip is set to fall through, with South Africa yet to launch a vaccination program
and its rugby team unlikely to benefit from extra government funding.
According to the Mail, Lions officials are refusing to give up on the matches, and want to
bring them to home soil.
An official request has been lodged to the UK Government after a board meeting last
Thursday, asking that they ‘underwrite’ a home tour in the summer.
Games would take place in London, Cardiff, and Dublin – as well as possibly another at
the host of the aforementioned Japan clash, Murrayfield.
Mail sources have indicated that the Government’s initial response has been ‘positive’,
with officials ‘optimistic’ that they can get the go-ahead.
Australia have otherwise offered to take the tour Down Under, and are offering a
£10million profit based on state backing.
But Lions officials would much rather stage the matches themselves rather than travel,
given the current uncertainty.
Plans can only be stepped up after a commitment from Westminster, however.
Yesterday’s Government announcements suggest that crowd limits could be
removed from June 21, potentially opening the door to a special atmosphere
at Murrayfield just five days later.
Meanwhile, Six Nations chiefs are pondering whether to postpone Sunday’s clash
between France and Scotland, following a spate of positive Covid-19 tests within the
Ten Les Bleus players, including star man Antoine Dupont, are currently self-isolating
and would be unavailable for the match. A decision is expected tomorrow.