Former Ireland and British & Irish Lions captain Willie John McBride has spoken out against Warren Gatland’s plan to play a decider against the All Blacks in 2021.
Gatland, who will coach the invitational side during their tour of South Africa next year, has proposed playing the All Blacks at home as part of their preparation for the tour.
The New Zealander suggested that the warm-up could generate the revenue needed to help the game recover financially from the Covid-19 isolation period.
It would also act as a decider for the Lions’ 2017 Test series against New Zealand, which finished in a 1-1 stalemate after the teams played out to a draw in the third Test in Auckland.
However, McBride – who went on a record five Lions tours and captained the team during their successful tour to South Africa in 1974 – said the potential Test would go against the ethos of the British & Irish Lions.
‘It’s completely alien to the ethos and history of the Lions,’ the former Irish lock told The Rugby Paper. ‘For the Lions to play a home Test match is nonsense.
‘That’s the problem with the world of professional sport at the moment. It’s about money not about sport. Therefore this [Lions vs All Blacks] is going to be played for money. It would be meaningless.
‘If they’re going to have a Lions, then have a proper Lions tour.
‘They keep saying they can’t squeeze the Lions into the curriculum once every four years, yet they always seem to find room for some stupid idea to fill Twickenham.’
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