South Africa Rugby and The British and Irish Lions have decided to go ahead with their scheduled tour with the venue remaining the same. It was announced that the original dates reserved for the series will remain unchanged. Australia had offered to host the series but the lions declined the offer due to a lack of financial incentive. The UK was also discussed as an alternative destination.
“After reviewing information relating to the various contingency scenarios being considered, I can confirm that the board’s intended position is for the tour to go ahead as scheduled in South Africa in 2021,” Lions chairman Jason Leonard said. “We acknowledge that there is a significant amount of work still to be undertaken to deliver a robust COVID-19 countermeasure plan to ensure a successful, safe and uninterrupted Tour. SA Rugby will have our full support to help implement this plan.”
The statement by the Lions does not mention whether spectators will be allowed into the stadium. The first Test match is scheduled to be held in Cape Town on July 17.
“We appreciate the Lions’ faith and share their desire to see a safe and successful tour,” SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said. “We have been in regular contact with our government to make that a reality against the backdrop of the pandemic and its predicted progression over the coming months.”