Rugby Australia has a shock supply to host the South African Lions Sequence to British and Irish Lions
Hoping that the UK and Irish Lions Tests against South Africa could take place in the northern hemisphere this summer, and the fans in attendance will look a little better if Rugby Australia makes an unexpected offer to host the series.
The South African variant of Covid-19 means the tour is unlikely to take place in this country, especially among fans, and it has been speculated that the games could instead be played in stadiums in the UK and Ireland, even with no supporters present.
However, a report in the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper alleged that Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan had an offer from the South African Rugby Union, RFU Chairman Andy Cosslett and World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont contacted hosts of the entire series in Australia.
McLennan confirmed the offer to the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday. “Ultimately, it’s her call,” said McLennan. “What we learned from the Tri-Nations last year and the [Australian Open]is that Australia can successfully host global tournaments in a Covid world.
“Right now it’s particularly difficult in the UK and South Africa and I think the more international rugby there is, the better,” added the 54-year-old. “There are so many expats in Australia that we still feel we can fill the area. We are here to help.”
The crowd has returned to play sports in Australia and it was announced on Saturday that the first ever grand slam of tennis, the Australian Open in Melbourne, will be welcoming fans again. So there is a real prospect of games with fans.
Although the details of the plan have not yet been confirmed, it has been reported that Rugby Australia would only attempt to cover the costs, with South Africa and the Lions sharing profits from the three series of tests. There was no official comment on the reports from World Rugby, RFU or SA Rugby.