Lions officials have sounded out UK Government to help host 'home' tour - reports
Lions officials are believed to have approached the UK Government in the wake of last Thursday’s board meeting seeking help to enable them to host a ‘home’ Lions tour against the Springboks in Britain and Ireland this summer.
The Lions are currently due to open their 2021 tour with a game versus the Stormers on July 3 in Cape Town but the ongoing Covid situation in South Africa, where a vaccination programme still has to be rolled out, appears to have put an end to that schedule and left officials teasing out alternatives.
With financial support unlikely from the South African government to help cover the cost of a behind closed doors tour, there is an offer on the table from Rugby Australia for the tour to be hosted there amid claims that a £10million profit can be guaranteed.
However, Sportsmail are instead reporting that the outcome of last Thursday’s board meeting was to seek out a commitment from the UK Government to underwrite the costs that would be involved in staging the tour at home.
As it stands, the Lions are already due to host Japan in a pre-tour game at Murrayfield on June 26 and with the chances of crowd restrictions being lifted by that date having increased with Monday’s Government plan to come out of lockdown, there are increasing moves afoot to have the Lions play their Test series versus the Springboks at venues such as London, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh.
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Sportsmail are claiming that that an initial response from Government was “positive” and there is now optimism that the support they need to underwrite the tour costs will be received.
While it was suggested elsewhere that there was growing momentum behind the proposal put forward by Rugby Australia, power brokers at the RFU and fellow officials in Wales, Scotland are Ireland would seemingly prefer the Lions to stage a ‘home’ tour rather than go somewhere else.
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— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 6, 2020
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