British & Irish Lions

Could the Springboks face the British and Irish Lions in Australia?

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Hamish McLennan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Hamish McLennan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
  • Reports suggest that Australia might be an unlikely venue for the Springboks versus British and Irish Lions Test series.
  • Scheduled for mid-2021, the current Covid-19 pandemic has placed the tour in jeopardy.
  • Rugby Australia have already proposed a plan to host the tour.

With the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa set for mid-2021 still up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic, Australia might be an unlikely venue should it go ahead.

Reports in the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday say that Rugby Australia has stepped forward and offered to host the series.

Hamish McLennan, Rugby Australia's chairperson has already spoken to SA Rugby's Jurie Roux about the plan and tabled a proposal to both World Rugby and the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

The Lions' tour schedule includes eight games of which three are Test matches against the Springboks.

Should the tour take place in Australia, suggestions are that Australian Super Rugby teams would provide warm up opposition for both sides. 

McLennan confirmed that the decision was not in Rugby Australia's hands.

"Ultimately it’s their call," McLennan told the Herald.

"What we learnt from the Tri-Nations last year and the tennis that’s happening now is that Australia can successfully stage global tournaments in a Covid world.

"It’s particularly tough in the UK and South Africa at the moment and I believe the more international rugby that gets played here, the better.

"We’re here to help," added McLennan.

McLennan believes that the series, should it take place Down Under, would also be beneficial for Australia.

"The more world class rugby that’s played in Australia, the better for the code,” he said.

Rugby Australia would also cover the costs of the tour with the profits then split between South Africa and the RFU.

“We’ll cover our costs but it continues to put rugby front and centre and we’ll be helping our member union friends out along the way," added McLennan.

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