Springboks v British & Irish Lions: Australia’s offer to host tour rejected
The British & Irish Lions' board has rejected an offer from Australia to host this year's series against the Springboks.
The British & Irish Lions’ board has rejected an offer from Australia to host this year’s series against the Springboks.
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According to reports in the Telegraph and the Daily Mail, after a meeting this week, the eight-man British & Irish Lions board, chaired by former England front-ranker Jason Leonard, ruled out the option of shifting the tour Down Under.
Rugby Australia (RA) had previously offered to host the eight-match tour, promising capacity crowds in the three Tests in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane and to cover all costs incurred.
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The British & Irish Lions board had hoped to make a final decision on the tour at their meeting, but are still waiting to hear if the UK government will underwrite the costs of an unprecedented relocation of the tour to the UK and Ireland.
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While initial reports were that a favourable response was expected from the UK government, in recent days that sentiment has changed with a number of other sports also seeking desperate immediate and long-term financial assistance rather than a every four-year, six-week tour.
A tour of South Africa hasn’t been ruled out completely, but with no certainty on crowd attendance and continued bungles of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, plus the very real possibility of a third wave of the coronavirus, it would be a shock if the tour was given the green light to be held in South Africa.
The tour is due to kick off on July 3 which is exactly 17 weeks away.
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