With a trip to South Africa on the cards this summer, the British & Irish Lions have provided an update on where things stand for 2021.
As Covid-19 continues to dominate sporting headlines, and concerns out of South Africa over a new strain of the virus, one of rugby’s biggest events looks like it’s still proceeding for now.
Whether the doors will be open for fans to follow the Lions is another thing.
“As you would expect, we are progressing with our plans based on the latest information available to us,” said Ben Calveley, The British & Irish Lions Managing Director.
“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.”
“To date, the Lions Board has had repeated meetings to discuss all scenarios available and is in constant dialogue. It will meet throughout January and into February, if required, to review all relevant information and data. After further consultation with SA Rugby, we will update on the outcome of these meetings in due course.”
“In the meantime, we continue regular discussion with our partners in the UK, Ireland and South Africa, including the British High Commission in Pretoria, the Irish Embassy and various government departments, to ascertain as much information as possible on this fast-evolving, complex situation.”
The Lions are set to kick off their Tour on 3 July against DHL Stormers, before games against SA Invitation XV, Cell C Sharks, South Africa A and Vodacom Bulls.
They then kick off a three-Test series versus Rugby World Champions the Springboks on 24 July.
Captained by Sam Warburton last time out, Warren Gatland’s side sealed a dramatic drawn series in New Zealand in 2017.