Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton, Alun-Wyn Jones and Stuart Hogg have encouraged British & Irish Lions officials to make sure the 2021 tour goes ahead by any means.
According to the Telegraph Sport, England captain Farrell and the other captains from the UK and Ireland held a conference call last week, during which they told the Lions board to make sure that the tour of South Africa goes ahead, even if it means playing behind closed doors.
The eight-man Lions board has already started planning contingencies, which has included gathering ‘extensive information’ about the potential of holding the Test series in the UK and Ireland.
However, the Telegraph has reported that the Lions board will meet again as chances of hosting the series are fading quickly, due to the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown in the UK.
Following the meeting with Farrell and the other senior players, it is now reportedly more likely that the tour will continue in South Africa, only it could be played in empty stadiums. It is believed that the financial risk of playing behind closed doors in the UK will be too high, given the costs involved to make such a series possible.
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said during a wide-ranging online media conference this week the Springboks will go to ‘option Z’ if necessary in order to ensure they can play against the Lions.
A number of former British & Irish Lions players – including legendary former captain Willie John McBride – have suggested it would go against the ethos of the touring team to play the series in the northern hemisphere.
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