British and Irish Lions “very aware” of need to make decision on South Africa tour


The British and Irish Lions
The British and Irish Lions’ last tour was in 2017, when they tied the three-game series against New Zealand

The British and Irish Lions say they are “very aware” of the need to decide whether this year’s tour of South Africa should go ahead because of the “uncertainty” caused by coronavirus.

The tour is due to take place in July and August but reportsexternal-link suggest it could be cancelled or delayed until 2022.

It comes amid a surge of Covid-19 cases in South Africa and the UK.

The Lions say their board will meet this month “to review all relevant information and data”.

“As you would expect, we are progressing with our plans based on the latest information available to us,” said Lions managing director Ben Calveley.

“However, given the uncertainty that continues to be caused by the coronavirus pandemic both in South Africa, as well as the UK and Ireland, we are very aware of the need to make a timely decision on the best way forward; not least so that we can provide clarity to supporters booked to travel to South Africa next summer, or those thinking of making the trip.”

The Lions are scheduled to play three Tests against the world champions, in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Gauteng, starting on 24 July.

It is thought the tour would not “be commercially viable” if supporters cannot travel.

The Lions were open to moving the tour to the autumn but talks held last summer slowed.

They are set to play eight matches in total on the tour, including warm-up games against invitational sides and Super Rugby teams.

BBC News