British and Irish Lions fans have started a petition asking the home nations to drop any plan of hosting the next tour in the UK.
Warren Gatland’s side is set to tour South Africa this summer, with the plan as things stand for it to go ahead.
However, due to the current pandemic alternative arrangements are being drawn up, including the prospect of a first-ever home tour.
A decision is set to be made by early next month on whether to press ahead or make alternative arrangements, with the preference being to move the tour to 2022.
However, the fierce resistance to that proposal from some home nations, as reported by Sportsmail last week, leaves the possibility of a UK tour a real option.
As a result, fans have fought back, pleading with the powers that be to come to an arrangement that would allow the series to be moved back a year.
The petition on Change.org, started by Mark Gardner, stated: ‘Covid-19 will almost certainly prevent the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour from taking place in the host country of South Africa.
‘We are petitioning for the home nations of England (RFU), Scotland (SRU), Ireland (IRFU) Wales (WRU) who collectively make up the British & Irish Lions Board, and South Africa (SA Rugby) to do the right thing by agreeing to switch the Lions tour to 2022, placing this before the needs of their own country’s proposed summer tours.
‘The Lions requires only 36 players from across the four home nations.
‘A well-documented UK-hosted replacement Series in July 2021 not only dilutes the rich touring history of the Lions, it denies South Africa’s fans, stadia, businesses, and whole tourism infrastructure the opportunity to host, impress and benefit from the 30,000 fans expected to follow the world’s most passionate invitational touring team.’
As of 3pm on Tuesday afternoon, the petition had already garnered 1,457 signatures after just 24 hours after being set up.
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