Australia has offered to stage this year’s British and Irish Lions series against South Africa, which is under threat because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said on Sunday. The Lions are scheduled to play eight matches in South Africa, including a three-Test series against the world champions starting on July 3 in Cape Town.
“I spoke to Jurie Roux, the CEO of South African Rugby, a few weeks ago and offered to host the tournament here, considering how dire the COVID situation is in the UK and South Africa,” said McLennan. “We learned through the Tri-Nations (that) our government can bring high-performance athletes into the country and safely quarantine them. Despite all the difficulties, we need to keep the world moving as best we can. So this was a lateral offer and solution to an issue those guys are facing.”
“We’re not doing this to make money,” he added. “We’re dead keen to have France and expect them to come, we’re really looking forward to it. When you look at the schedules, there would be minimal overlap.”