Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
17 Feb 2021
5:46 pm

Fans could push Lions to move SA tour Down Under

Rudolph Jacobs

The blueprint for hosting the tour in Australia is expected to be considered by the Lions board in detail for the first time at a meeting on Thursday.

While fans might not be allowed to attend matches in South Africa, the British and Irish Lions tour could be played in front of thousands of spectators in Australia. Picture: Getty Images

The proposal to move the British and Irish Lions tour to Australian shores is gathering momentum.

The Springboks and the Lions are scheduled to meet in a three-match series in South Africa in July and August, but due to Covid restrictions there are fears that no supporters will be allowed to attend the matches.

A decision on the tour was recently pushed back to the end of March, but now there seems to be growing support for the tour to take place Down Under.

According to a report in The Telegraph there was growing support following the latest projections that the matches could potentially be played Down Under in front of capacity crowds.

The blueprint for hosting the tour in Australia was expected to be considered by the Lions board in detail for the first time at a meeting on Thursday.

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After an initially lukewarm response to Rugby Australia’s offer last month to host the eight-game tour, there now appears to be momentum behind the option from both administrators and players.

Hamish McLennan, the chairman of Rugby Australia, told Telegraph Sport they were in a position to deliver the closest thing to a Lions tour given the unique circumstances posed by the pandemic.

“If we sold out Sydney or Perth, which is achievable if we are allowed to have full crowds, it would just be mind-blowing for the players,” McLennan said.

“I know lockdown in the UK has been tough but in Sydney life is relatively normal. We can successfully host this.”

The plan would be to operate the tour from a “hub” with the Lions and South Africa based in Sydney or Perth.

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