Optimism grows for British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa

ans ready to spend thousands on the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa next summer should do so in full confidence that the contingency plans are already being put in place to ensure the series can go ahead.

With the Lions’ managing director Ben Calveley guaranteeing that every fan will be refunded if coronavirus prevents the tour from going ahead, supporters have shown “five times the interest expressed on previous tours”, despite the uncertainty surrounding international sport and – more importantly – global travel of mass groups.

The five-week tour begins when the Lions fly out to Cape Town the day after their newly announced Test against Japan in Scotland, with full tour packages for fans priced at around £22,000. However, while the UK recorded another 26,688 coronavirus cases on Wednesday – a new record number within a 24-hour window – South Africa is in a very different scenario, with daily numbers ranging between 1,000-2,000 and total deaths fewer than half the 44,000-plus recorded on these shores. As a result, Calveley is optimistic that the tour will go ahead as planned with no requirement to move the location of the series just in an effort to stage it at all.

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