The British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa is now in serious danger of not going ahead this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Daily Mail, a spike in COVID-19 numbers and the emergence of new strains of the virus in South Africa and the UK has meant that contingency planning has been fast-tracked.
It is believed that rugby bosses were going to wait until March to hold discussions on whether the series will go ahead. However, according to the Daily Mail’s report, a decision might now be made at the end of January.
While a vaccine has been rolled out in the UK, the same cannot be said for South Africa with the country’s citizens still months away from getting one.
Around 30 000 travelling fans expected for the series and it has been previously made clear that the event will not go ahead without fans, which throws another spanner in the works.
One of the options to solve the dilemma is to postpone the series to the same window in 2022. However, Wales are scheduled to visit South Africa during that period, while England will be travelling to Australia.
Ireland are also scheduled to visit New Zealand during that window. There is also the option of cancelling the series, but officials are trying to avoid that at all costs.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now