Australia Make Surprise Offer To Host South Africa Vs Lions

Australia Make Surprise Offer To Host South Africa Vs Lions”

The Lions are due to visit South Africa in July and August, highlighted by a three-Test series against the world champions.

A series in Australia would prove popular among the expatriates from both the United Kingdom and South Africa but would prove a logistical challenge for the 30,000 fans that would normally be expected to follow the Lions.

The Lions' tour of South Africa was scheduled to be the centrepiece of the rugby year. It's said Rugby Australia hope that hosting the tour would help their bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

"There will need to be a few warm-up games and the latest idea is to form a Wallabies-France Barbarians team for the Lions to play", he told AAP.

"It's so important for the global rugby economy and the global rugby community that we have worldwide rugby played with as little disruption as possible".

Sky Sports, who have considerable heft as the main broadcaster, are also likely to oppose a move from the prime-time slots a tour in South Africa or the British Isles would afford versus the early morning starts in Australia.

There has been speculation matches could be played without crowds in South Africa, or played in Britain, but spiraling infection rates mean both options look remote.

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"All member unions need revenue in Covid times and I'm sure we could deliver them a big cheque at the end of the day".

Rugby Australia chief executive Hamish McLennan confirmed the offer to host the Lions-Springboks series, but declined comment on the potential Wallabies match.

Playing in Australia would protect the touring ethos of the Lions and would allow significant crowds to be present for the series with McLennan confident the large expat communities would flock to the games.

Doubt surrounding whether the tour can take place in South Africa has led to contingency plans being put in place.

They traditionally attract tens of thousands of travelling Lions fans, who drown the stands of host venues in masses of red shirts.

McLennan said Rugby Australia would only seek to cover its costs for staging the series, meaning the Lions and South African Rugby would still split revenue from one of the most lucrative events on the rugby calendar. For starters, Australia has among the world's the strictest quarantine rules which would prohibit the large-scale influx of supporters from the British Isles.

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