Lions to prep for SA tour at £9m Jersey den

The British & Irish Lions will be able to replicate the altitude conditions they will face during their tour of South Africa at their multi-million-pound training base in Jersey.

England’s Daily Mail revealed details of the newly built facility Strive, which covers 30,000 square metres and will host the team as they prepare for the series against the Springboks.

Warren Gatland’s 37-man squad will be able to use a 930m² gym, which will include  six weight-lifting platforms and areas for speed training.

As an added bonus, the Lions squad will be able to prepare themselves for altitude conditions when taking the Springboks on in Johannesburg. This is thanks to two altitude chambers, which can be sealed off and replicate the oxygen and nitrogen levels that the Lions will have to contest at 1,753m above sea level.

There is also a lecture theatre with interactive screens for team meetings, while injured players can recover in a hydrotherapy pool with a built-in treadmill.

‘Bringing the Lions over is a dream. It’s a bit nuts, really,’ said former Jersey Reds coach Ben Harvey, the visionary behind Strive.

‘I didn’t know much about rugby, but I know less about building. It’s been a huge learning curve. It’s very exciting, stressful, but it’s been amazing.’

According to the report, Strive hopes to host both the Springboks and the All Blacks during their respective northern-hemisphere tours in November.

Photo: Kevin Quigley/Daily Mail