World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot says he would like to see the British & Irish Lions modernise and play on a ‘worldwide scale’.
The Lions – an invitational team made up of players from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland – currently tour once every four years, visiting South Africa, New Zealand and Australia on a rotational basis.
However, Pichot, who is running against Bill Beaumont to become the next World Rugby chairman, says he would like the team to add North and South America to their roster as part of his vision for a global game.
‘People think I don’t like tradition, but I speak to Lions players like Brian O’Driscoll and it’s a great product,’ Pichot told the Daily Mail. ‘I love it. There is still room for the Lions. It is a traditional thing but we can still add a modern look to it.
‘I would use the Lions on a more worldwide scale. I would like to see that brand travel even further. They would be very popular in North and South America but that’s a conversation to have with the CEO of the Lions.’
The Lions have never toured America, but did face Argentina in a warm-up match in Cardiff ahead of their 2005 tour to New Zealand.
Pichot has been outspoken about his desire to implement a global calendar in rugby, bringing greater alignment between the northern and southern hemispheres. He was the driving force behind the idea of a nations championship before it got scrapped in 2019.
The World Rugby election by electronic ballot is due on 26 April, with the results announced on 12 May.
Photo: Getty Images