British & Irish Lions

British & Irish Lions planning a 'moving target' for SA Rugby

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SA Rugby president Mark Alexander during the South African national rugby team arrival media conference at OR Tambo International Airport on 5 November 2019 (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander during the South African national rugby team arrival media conference at OR Tambo International Airport on 5 November 2019 (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
Sydney Seshibedi

SA Rugby continues to work furiously and is "exploring all options" in an effort to see this year's series between the Springboks and British and Irish Lions go ahead. 

That is the word from SA Rugby president Mark Alexander. 

There has been no confirmation on when or where the tour will take place as yet, but the idea that the United Kingdom could serve as the host for the series, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in July, is gathering momentum. 

Sport24 understands that this is a strong consideration for SA Rugby presently, but there are still significant logistical boxes that need to be ticked before any announcements can be made. 

Alexander, who could offer no clarity on what the likeliest outcome for the tour would be, said it had been an extremely challenging time. 

"We are still exploring all of our options and there a number of things we need to factor in," he said. 

"We do have a couple of options. 

"The major difficulty with all of this is that we have been dealing with a moving target. We don't know how things will change in the next day, week or month, so it has been an extremely uncertain time for sport."

Alexander is hopeful that SA Rugby will be in a position to make an announcement in the next "week or two", but he stressed that any decisions taken would result in a joint-announcement between SA Rugby and the British and Irish Lions. 

Planning for the Rainbow Cup, Alexander said, was also a priority for SA Rugby and the challenges that existed there were similar to what was being faced in finding a resolution for the Lions tour. 

From April, South Africa's four premier franchises - the Sharks, Stormers, Lions and Bulls - are set to join the existing European sides operating in the Pro 14 in playing in the Rainbow Cup. 

At this stage, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is not clear if South Africa will be in a position to host matches against touring sides. 

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