The officers of the British & Irish Lions will meet on Thursday to discuss Rugby Australia’s proposal to host the series against South Africa for the first time. The Australian idea met with a tepid response when it initially emerged last month, but support for bringing the tour home to the Wallabies has grown since then.
Given that games in South Africa are increasingly likely to have to be played behind closed doors and amid the constant uncertainty that crowds could attend if the Lions’ tour were to take place in the UK and Ireland, the Australian alternative has now gained momentum.
With an offer from the United Arab Emirates as the only other host invitation that has been received, the Australian proposal is ready to be reviewed in detail and the potential for That the crowds attending the games are sold out will be considered hugely attractive for a tour where the Lions and Springboks would operate from centers, probably based in Sydney or Perth.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Hamish McLennan, President of Rugby Australia, said: “If we were to sell tickets to Sydney or Perth, which can be achieved if we are allowed to have full crowds, it would be just mind-blowing for the players. I know that confinement in the UK has been difficult, but life in Sydney is relatively normal. We can host this successfully.
“The New South Wales government is committed to organizing and running sports of all kinds and is probably the best in the world to do so. The players would really enjoy it and I’m sure we could also deliver a really decent check to South Africa and the Lions. We will fix it if you tell us before April.