British & Irish Lions

UK the likely destination for Springboks-Lions series, 4th Test also considered - reports

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  • It's looking likely that the Springboks v British & Irish Lions series will be staged in the UK.
  • The possibility of a fourth Test is also being mooted, with a South Africa 'A' side also playing midweek matches against the Lions.
  • Both teams are reportedly considering basing themselves in Jersey, an island in the English channel between England and France.

It's looking increasingly likely that this year's Springboks v British & Irish Lions series will be moved from South Africa to the United Kingdom.

The tour remains in jeopardy due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Afrikaans newspaper Rapport on Sunday that postponing it until next year was not an option due to scheduling.

The report added that a fourth Test was also being considered because Sky Sports paid millions for the rights to air eight matches. This could see a South Africa 'A' side also tour to play four midweek matches against the Lions.

The four Tests could take place in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin, with crowds expected to be allowed back in the European summer.

Meanwhile, further reports over the weekend stated that both teams were considering basing themselves in Jersey, an island in the English Channel between England and France.

The Rugby Paper reported that Lions coach Warren Gatland spent the last week on the island scouting for training facilities. The Strive Academy, a multimillion-pound high-performance complex based opposite the Jersey Reds rugby club, is set to finish construction in May. The academy is expected to rival the best facilities anywhere in Europe.

The report added that the Springboks also inquired about the availability of one of Jersey's largest hotels for a seven-week period over June and July.

Australia has also offered to host the tour, with Rugby Australia chairperson Hamish McLennan recently saying that sold-out stadiums would be a distinct possibility if the tour was staged in his country.

However, it appears the home nations are firmly in favour of holding the matches in the UK.

The original eight-match tour was scheduled to run from 3 July to 7 August in South Africa.

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