The Lions are promising a trip to South Africa in 2021

Lions promise a trip to South Africa

The British and Irish Lions are keen to tour South Africa in the summer as scheduled in July and August.

The 2021 tour was heavily profitable as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with contingent plans to host games in the UK and Australia, but the Lions Board has now confirmed that they prefer to go on with the tour to South Africa.

British & Irish Lions chairman Jason Leonard said: “Having reviewed information relating to the various contingency scenarios under consideration, I can confirm that this is the intended position. ‘Board that the trip will go ahead as scheduled in South Africa in 2021.

“We acknowledge that much work remains to be done to deliver a robust Covid-19 protection plan to ensure a successful, safe and uninterrupted journey. US Rugby will have the full support of this plan to help bring this plan to fruition. ”

Packs stand through 2009 South Africa v Lions series (Getty Images)

However, there are still big question marks as to whether fans can go to games – either those based in South Africa or travelers from abroad. Playing matches behind closed doors would have a huge impact on US Rugby and could cast doubt on the tour.

US Rugby President Mark Alexander said: “We greatly value the Lions’ faith and share their desire to see a safe and successful trip.

“We have been in regular contact with our government to bring this about against the backdrop of pandemic and the progress that is planned for the coming months.

“There are real financial implications for US Rugby if the event were to take place without any supporters present, and we cannot ignore that in our deliberations. But we are determined that the end result will bring the best event and experience to players, fans and our trading partners. ”

The original 2021 Lions schedule may also change due to these considerations.

Lions promise a trip to South Africa

Jason Leonard leads the Lions during the 1997 trip to South Africa (Getty Images)

Leonard said: “Every British and Irish player dreams of wearing the famous red jersey, and players from the southern hemisphere want to be part of the Lions series. It is incumbent on the current players to seek a place in both teams to ensure they can be a part of the Lions ’history.

“We are very much looking forward to taking South Africa forward for a series that promises to be highly competitive against global competitors. ”

The Pre-Tour Test between the Lions and Japan, scheduled to be held at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 26 June, is still on schedule, but a decision on population size will be made closer to the time to ensure is in line with UK Government regulations.

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