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Brodie Retallick hints at retirement after RWC 2023

All Blacks star Brodie Retallick has suggested that he is regarding the 2023 World Cup in France as his last chapter in international rugby. The second row also does not rule out ending the day but says that playing in Japan is an option after the next world tournament. Rugby fans can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

Retallick, who has played 81 games for New Zealand since his debut in 2012, is currently on a sabbatical in Asia, playing for the Kobelco Steelers in the Top League. He is set to return to the Chiefs in 2022, which will make him available for the international team before the next World Cup, and the 29-year-old believes that the tournament could be the last for the All Blacks.

Brodie Retallick hints at retirement after RWC 2023
Brodie Retallick hints at retirement after RWC 2023

Two seasons with the Chiefs

I look forward, if everything goes according to plan, to go back to the All Blacks and play two seasons for the Chiefs, he told The XV. Realistically, they will probably be the last couple in New Zealand before I decide what to do next, be it hang up my boots or maybe go back to Japan.

“I have a rough idea in my head of how I plan to do the last third of my career, or whatever you want to call it. If that goes according to plan or if I’ve changed my mind, I’m not sure. But I have a family and a wife and kids and stuff, so you have to think about these things.”

Despite still being on the right side of 30, the outstanding forward has felt the physical damage of the sport having excelled at the highest level from a young age. Retallick was one of the stars of the New Zealand Under-20 team in 2011 and was soon a regular starter for the Chiefs in Super Rugby in 2012.

Brodie Retallick hints at retirement after RWC 2023
Brodie Retallick hints at retirement after RWC 2023

He led it to his debut with the All Blacks in the same year and has been around ever since, helping them lift the Webb Ellis Cup in 2015.

“When I came to the Chiefs, and from there, to get to the All Blacks, those first five or six years were pretty full, I played a lot of rugby,” Padlock said.

“Sometimes I would joke with people, they would say ‘Oh, you’re not that old’ and I’d say ‘Yes, but I’ve played a lot of rugby.”

“Looking back at the last two or three years, I don’t know if those kinds of injuries that started to affect me were a price for playing a lot of rugby in those early years or not, I’m not sure. But coming to Japan was definitely the result of the amount of rugby I played in those first five or six years.”

Many of the best All Blacks decide to go to Europe after his international career is over, but Retallick insists the option has never appealed to him.

Brodie Retallick hints at retirement after RWC 2023
Brodie Retallick hints at retirement after RWC 2023

“I have never honestly considered the northern hemisphere, he added. Either he stayed in New Zealand or he came to Japan. Obviously, you never say never, but we’ve really enjoyed our time in Japan and the Kobelco Steelers have been amazing to us with all their support and stuff. So yeah, I’m not going to say no, but I’m probably not looking to go there at all.”

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All Blacks won’t love drawing France at 2023 Rugby World Cup

Irish rugby great Brian O’Driscoll says the All Blacks “won’t love” being drawn into the same pool as France at the 2023 Rugby World Cup before enjoying a cheeky reference to their 2007 quarter-final loss. Rugby fans can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

The All Blacks being drawn into Pool A alongside France and Italy drew plenty of response from the French crowd and presenters on stage this morning – a reaction O’Driscoll says is a natural given.

All Blacks won't love drawing France at 2023 Rugby World Cup
All Blacks won’t love drawing France at 2023 Rugby World Cup

“New Zealand are more often than not the favorites going into the tournament,” the former Irish midfielder said.

“It’s no surprise it got the most ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ because New Zealand and France drawing against one another – we’ve seen over the years some incredible duels between those two teams.”

Of the 18 nations the All Blacks have played against at Rugby World Cups since its inception in 1987, France is the country they have played the most with seven Tests. One of the next closest, coincidentally, is their other confirmed opponent in Pool A Italy with five Tests.

In their seven clashes with the French though, the All Blacks have come out on top five times although both losses still sting for rugby faithful in New Zealand.

O’Driscoll said for that reason, the All Blacks will be wary heading to France in 2023.

“New Zealand won’t love the prospect of going to France and having them in their pool with what they’ve seen over the last 12 months or so and the quality coming through.

“I don’t know if it’s quite a pool of death but if there’s a tough pool, it’s because those two quality teams are one and two and poor old Italy have to try and do something they’ve never done before.”

Former England outside back Ugo Monye then chipped in on the broadcast, making a reference to one of the more infamous All Blacks-France Rugby World Cup fixtures in the past – the 2007 quarter-final won by the French – which had O’Driscoll in stitches.

All Blacks won't love drawing France at 2023 Rugby World Cup
All Blacks won’t love drawing France at 2023 Rugby World Cup

“He won’t mind me saying it because we’re good friends but people are asking if Wayne Barnes can referee that New Zealand-France match,” Monye said.

“They were really pleased with how he did it in ’07.”

Barnes was in charge of the 2007 fixture which the French won in a huge upset 20-18 but it featured a forward pass that led the French to score a crucial try although O’Driscoll joked Barnes got it right the first time.

“The whole world knew that the pass went backwards except for maybe six million-odd people in the south of the globe,” O’Driscoll said.

The 141-Test Irishman then got a bit more serious again with his analysis while praising the All Blacks.

“It’s a respect for New Zealand that everyone wants the opposition that they’re playing against to beat them because we don’t want them having a monopoly on World Cups,” he said.

“We want to see outsiders and underdogs come through and beat the team touted to win it all as they usually are.”

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When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023

While the pool revealed for the 2023 Rugby World Cup was met with reservations due to the similarities between it and previous years, there was a quirky quirk that still has fans salivating.

New Zealand and France will meet in the group stage of the competition in what will be their eighth meeting at the World Cup. Adding some extra intrigue to the clash is the fact that the tournament is of course taking place in France. Rugby fans can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

While the All Blacks have had the best of both teams throughout matches, winning five of the seven to date, Les Bleus’ two victories are arguably best remembered by Kiwi fans due to how emotional they were defeats.

When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023
When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023

In 1999, France won 43-21 in the semifinals. Eight years later, a highly favored All Blacks team was defeated 20-18 in the quarterfinals in what was their worst World Cup performance to date. France will not have a chance to knock New Zealand out of the 2023 competition until the final if both teams advance that far, but they do have a chance to inflict a first group stage defeat on the men in black.

Since the first iteration of the tournament in 1987, the World Cups have always started with a game with the hosts. Typically, especially since the game turned pro, their opposition has been a team they were expected to defeat, but not by a scandalous margin.

That is understandable. Many fans want the tournament hosts to start the competition with a victory, but they still want the game to be a show. This is especially true for occasional local viewers, who are probably only tuning in to the game because it is played at a World Cup in their home country.

Since that first flagship competition in New Zealand in 87, seven of the opening nine matches have been won by the hosts, England fell short against New Zealand in 1991 and France suffered at the hands of Argentina in 2007.

When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023
When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023

With France and New Zealand back in the same group for the first time since 2011, the two rivals will naturally meet at an early stage in the competition, but the jury is still out on when that clash should take place.

From the point of view of the two nations, would it be better to start the competition with a challenge and then be able to move on to the knockout stages of the competition or would it make more sense if the more difficult group match occurred closer to the end of the match group stage?

Perhaps the All Blacks, who have thrived in tough competition would prefer the latter. In 2007, New Zealand’s toughest group match was against a humble Scottish side who finished better 40-0. A few weeks later, France picked them up bit by bit and pulled them out by hand.

In the last competition, they played South Africa in the opening week and scored a well-earned 23-13 victory. The only other top-tier team to play between that opening game and their defeat to England in the semi-finals was Ireland, a team that has never made it past the quarter-finals.

When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023
When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023

The All Blacks’ 32-point victory in that game marked the second-largest quarter-final victory in tournament history and when they faced a team from England that had been consolidating in the competition with victories over Argentina and Australia barely fired a shot.

However, the latest report in the French newspaper L’Equipe suggests that French coach Fabien Galthie wants his team to play the All Blacks in the opening match of the 2023 competition. With France and New Zealand as the strongest teams in the group, probably the only other semi-competitive games for the top two teams in the group will involve Italy, the world’s 14th-ranked nation.

If Galthie and the French rugby union asked World Rugby to come true, the story would be made one way or another. A victory for the French would end New Zealand’s unbeaten streak during the World Cups group stage, while a defeat would make France the first host nation to lose two games on opening night.

When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023
When France expects to play the All Blacks at RWC 2023

The 2019 World Cup draw was unveiled in November 2017, suggesting that World Rugby probably won’t release the full tournament schedule for the 2023 competition until much later this year.

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Agustin Creevy reveals designs at Rugby World Cup 2023

Former Argentina captain Agustin Creevy wants to be part of Pumas’ bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup by securing a new contract with London Irish. Rugby enthusiasts can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

Creevy, who has played in three consecutive World Cups, would be 38 when the next World Cup is held in France and, having installed her young daughter in a local nursery, the prostitute is determined to convince Declan Kidney, the Irish director. Rugby to be awarded a new contract to replace the one that ends this season.

Agustin Creevy reveals designs at Rugby World Cup 2023
Agustin Creevy reveals designs at Rugby World Cup 2023

Having scored a try when the Irish defeated Newcastle 31-22, Creevy is delivering on the field as part of the group with the most caps the Premiership has seen. Six of the Irish forwards against the Falcons had racked up 402 caps with Creevy contributing 88 appearances for his beloved Cougars.

Agustin Creevy

Creevy said: “We are talking about a new contract and we have time to see what happens. Yes, I want to stay and I want to play in the next World Cup, but I need to continue playing at the best level and I try to be better in each game. The Premiership is one of the best competitions in the world and that is why I came here.”

“We have a lot of international players and we are very close and that is important. We try to train together and teach young children and it is a good family. I like the identity of my country with the Pumas and here we also have a nice one”.

With the demise of Jaguares from Super Rugby, Creevy is part of a large contingent of Pumas now operating in the Premiership and will face his former teammate Matías Alemanno when Gloucester arrives in Brentford on Saturday.

Agustin Creevy reveals designs at Rugby World Cup 2023
Agustin Creevy reveals designs at Rugby World Cup 2023

Creevy said: “There are a lot of friends playing in the Premiership with Matias in the second row in Gloucester and I love playing against them and laughing on the field. We are friends playing together for seven years together. Now it’s fun to play against them.”

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Samoa hoping COVID doesn’t curtail the Rugby World Cup dream

Samoa’s women’s rugby team admits that quarantine restrictions may force some players not to make themselves available for the World Cup campaign.

Manusina will advance to the final qualifying tournament, which is expected to take place in Europe in May, four months before the start of the World Cup in New Zealand. Rugby fans can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

All of the players are amateurs and coach Ramsey Tomokino said if they had to spend a month in quarantine on top of the World Cup proper it could be a bridge too far.

Samoa hoping COVID doesn't curtail the Rugby World Cup dream
Samoa hoping COVID doesn’t curtail the Rugby World Cup dream

“It would mean some players might have to leave their jobs or just say no because their employment is their livelihood, and that is the difference between the men’s and the women’s game, where we’re not full-time professional athletes. It would hit us pretty hard actually if that was the case.”

Manusina outclassed Tonga 40-0 in November to advance to the final repechage however the other three squads are still to be confirmed.

The European Qualification Tournament was canceled last year because of Covid-19 while the Women’s Six Nations, Asia Rugby Women’s Championship and a playoff between Kenya and Colombia have all been postponed, leaving Samoa in a holding pattern.

“We’re just really waiting to see what the next instructions are around this qualifier game,” Tomokino explained.

“It’s meant to be the last four teams vying for that one spot into one of the hardest pools alongside New Zealand, Australia and Wales but certainly we’d love to get the opportunity to do that.”

While Europe remains the most likely destination, Tomokino has heard other whispers doing the rounds.

Samoa hoping COVID doesn't curtail the Rugby World Cup dream
Samoa hoping COVID doesn’t curtail the Rugby World Cup dream

“There is also the possibility of that repechage being down in New Zealand but then also we’re hearing other scenarios too which, if they play out, might not be favorable to us, he said. And that they might look at the two highest-ranked teams playing of the four which could pose an issue for us, so we could possibly miss out in that regard.”

The bulk of the Manusina squad will resume training in Auckland on Wednesday and Ramsey Tomokino is keen to expand his player pool for what it’s hoped will be a year to remember.

“I think there will be a few girls now that are realizing that they’re probably not going to make New Zealand or Australia – if they haven’t been shoulder tapped by now then they’re probably not likely in the World Cup frame,” he said.

“We’ve opened that up again just to see if there are any new players that come onto the radar and then we’ve obviously got our core group of girls, so we’ve probably got easily a group of between 50-60 players.”

Samoa hoping COVID doesn't curtail the Rugby World Cup dream
Samoa hoping COVID doesn’t curtail the Rugby World Cup dream

While nothing is set in stone, officials are also working hard to confirm some much-needed match preparation. It’s still hoped that the Oceania Women’s Championship will return in 2021 after last year’s competition was canceled because of the pandemic.

The Manusina are also exploring the possibility of more test matches against Pacific Island countries using New Zealand based players, in an effort to improve their world ranking. We are offering New Zealand Rugby World Cup Tickets so Rugby fans can get through our trusted online ticketing marketplace. Xchangetickets.com is the most reliable source to book Rugby World Cup 2023 tickets.

RTS set to leave Warriors at end of the year for All Blacks Rugby World Cup goal

Warriors star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck looks likely to leave the club at the end of the season to try to break into the All Blacks squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Rugby fans can book Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

The club is resigned to the likelihood of RTS switching codes after he was recently granted permission to negotiate only with New Zealand Rugby.

As first reported by NewsCorp Australia on Thursday, the 27-year-old Dally M Medalist intends to play out the 2021 Telstra Premiership season with the Warriors before trying his hand at the 15-player code to give him enough time to break into the national team for the World Cup in France.

RTS set to leave Warriors at end of the year for All Blacks Rugby World Cup goal
RTS set to leave Warriors at end of the year for All Blacks Rugby World Cup goal

Warriors CEO Cameron George told NRL.com that the club would not be making any comment on their captain’s playing future.

He is contracted to the club until the end of 2022 and has an option in his favor for the following season.

The All Blacks have only ever signed one player who has not played union in New Zealand – dual international Sonny Bill Williams, who was lining up in club rugby in France in 2011.

Tuivasa-Sheck spent some time training with the New Zealand Sevens squad in the North Island town of Mt Maunganui in November.

In September, soon after being appointed to take over as coach in 2021, Nathan Brown told Triple M that he thought it would be “a bonus” if RTS played for the Warriors this year and said that “Roger does have a desire to represent the All Blacks like many, many young Kiwi kids”.

It is understood the Kiwis would still be keen for Tuivasa-Sheck to play at the Rugby League World Cup at the end of this year in the United Kingdom even if he does decide to commit to the union for 2022 and beyond.

RTS set to leave Warriors at end of the year for All Blacks Rugby World Cup goal

RTS has played 94 matches at fullback for the Warriors since he arrived in 2016 following an 84-game stint with the Roosters, which included the 2013 grand final triumph as a winger. 

After spending the entire 2020 season relocated in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Warriors are set to base themselves in the NSW Central Coast for at least the first month of the season when it kicks off in March.

Tuivasa-Sheck publicly stated he struggled with being away from his young family last season under the circumstances brought about by the global health crisis.

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British and Irish Lions supporters start petition pleading with home nations to shelve any plans to forego South Africa 2021 trip and host first ever domestic tour as more than 1,400 fans sign it within 24 hours

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. 

British and Irish Lions supporters start petition pleading with home nations to shelve any plans to forego South Africa 2021 trip and host first ever domestic tour as more than 1,400 fans sign it within 24 hours
British and Irish Lions supporters start petition pleading with home nations to shelve any plans to forego South Africa 2021 trip and host first ever domestic tour as more than 1,400 fans sign it within 24 hours

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. 

British and Irish Lions supporters start petition pleading with home nations to shelve any plans to forego South Africa 2021 trip and host first ever domestic tour as more than 1,400 fans sign it within 24 hours
British and Irish Lions supporters start petition pleading with home nations to shelve any plans to forego South Africa 2021 trip and host first ever domestic tour as more than 1,400 fans sign it within 24 hours

‘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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British lions: Boks have to be at their best to beat Lions

Former Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez says the British & Irish Lions have ‘all the ingredients’ to make the 2021 tour of South Africa successful. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

Du Preez was a major part of the Springbok team which claimed a 2-1 series victory over the Lions during their previous tour of South Africa in 2009.

British lions: Boks have to be at their best to beat Lions
British lions: Boks have to be at their best to beat Lions

Since then, the Lions have come under the tutelage of former Wales coach Warren Gatland, who has taken the invitational team to a series win over Australia in 2013 and a drawn series with the All Blacks in 2017 and will be coaching the team again in South Africa.

Gatland’s Wales’s team also had a good record against the Springboks, having gone on a four-match winning run between 2016 and 2018, which South Africa managed to bring to an end in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals.

Speaking to Rugby World magazine, Du Preez said Gatland’s knowledge combined with the ominous form of the United Kingdom nations mean that the Springboks will have to be at their very best if they hope to claim a series victory in July.

‘The Lions weren’t ready for that first Test in 2009. I doubt they will make the same mistake in 2021,’ Du Preez said.

British lions: Boks have to be at their best to beat Lions

‘Warren Gatland has been successful on past tours to Australia and New Zealand. He knows what’s required in South Africa, having been part of the coaching team in 2009 and having been head coach of Wales for so long.

‘England have been playing good rugby and winning big matches. Ireland has a lot of good players, and there are a few from Scotland, too. Gatland will know how to get the best out of the Welsh players.

‘The Lions certainly have all the ingredients for a successful tour. The Boks will have to be at their very best to come out on top.’

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B&I Playing South Africa tests in UK & Ireland is a contingency plan

The British and Irish Lions series with South Africa could be held in the UK and Ireland if Covid-19 prevents fans from traveling.

That is among the contingency plans discussed by the Lions board in the event the trip has to be abandoned. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

Instead, games would be played in Edinburgh, London, Cardiff, and Dublin.

The South African rugby union has previously made it clear that a tour without visiting fans would not be commercially viable for them.

B&I Playing South Africa tests in UK & Ireland is a contingency plan
B&I Playing South Africa tests in UK & Ireland is a contingency plan

The Lions board is also thought to be unenthusiastic about the Idea.

However, it is hoped that a vaccine would allow for fans to attend games in the UK by summer.

In a statement on Saturday, the Lions board announced that they had been having “repeated meetings to discuss all scenarios available and is in constant dialogue”.

A warm-up contest with Japan is already scheduled for Murrayfield in Edinburgh on 26 June.

After that, the original plan is for the Lions to travel to South Africa to play five provincial games before the three-Test series against the world champions.

The revised plan would likely see the Test matches held at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and Wembley and Twickenham in London.

Government restrictions currently forbid fans from attending, but even if restrictions are lifted, the Lions board is worried that such a large movement of people could put any Covid-19 recovery in jeopardy.

It had been mooted that the tour might be delayed until 2022, but all four nations have Test matches scheduled for that summer window and are not keen on that switch.

Lions managing director Ben Calveley said: “It will meet throughout January and into February, if required, to review all relevant information and data.

“After further consultation with SA Rugby, we will update on the outcome of these meetings in due course.”

The case to play in Britain & Ireland

Former Lions tourist Ugo Monye on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast

Imagine Old Trafford, St James’ Park, Wembley Stadium, Millennium Stadium, Murrayfield – for me that would be unbelievable.

But we don’t have the certainty in the UK to be able to host any sport at the moment. The idea could only be entertained if we fully believe we can have crowds back so the Lions could make more money out of it – because that’s what it’s going to come down to.

B&I Playing South Africa tests in UK & Ireland is a contingency plan
B&I Playing South Africa tests in UK & Ireland is a contingency plan

The case to postpone until 2022

Monye on delaying until the year before the World Cup and the impact on player welfare

You’ve played uninterrupted Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup, then you have a six or seven-week tour with the Lions. Then you have a short pre-season before you’re back into the club season.

On the tour I went on, I think there were seven or eight English guys on that tour. I think everyone bar two players had major surgery that following season.

BBC Sport rugby correspondent Chris Jones

The whole point of a Lions tour is the band of brothers going into hostile environments away from home. The Lions tour should be done in South Africa with traveling fans or not done at all.

The case to play in South Africa without fans

Monye, who toured South Africa with the Lions in 2009

We know the cash injection it gives to these Southern Hemisphere nations every 12 years. They need it. It’s just not worth it. The fans, just like the Six Nations, are such an integral part of the experience.

It plays a massive factor in the success of a team. You have got 10s of thousands of fans who have probably already booked to go there. Behind closed doors, it doesn’t interest me. I wouldn’t even table it as an option.”

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Postpone British and Irish Lions tour if the need arises

Postponing the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa until 2022 is the most credible contingency if the series could not proceed with crowd attendance, writes DYLAN JACK.

It’s something South African fans have desperately been avoiding to think about, but the reality is that the second coronavirus wave currently looks set to have an unavoidable impact on the 2021 series. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

The adage in sport is that things can change very quickly over a few months, but the logistics involved in either moving, cancelling or postponing the tour mean that a decision will have to be taken sooner rather than later.

Postpone British and Irish Lions tour if the need arises
Postpone British and Irish Lions tour if the need arises

There is plenty riding on the tour, especially for SA Rugby, who knows the value of hosting this high-profile marquee event. In the current Covid-19-affected environment, it’s a tour of, particularly immense value.

That’s without mentioning that the Springboks have not been in action since the 2019 World Cup final after it was decided to withdraw from the Australia-hosted Rugby Championship, to ensure that players are at peak fitness for the Lions tour.

‘We are looking at several different contingencies around what happens if Covid continues in the way that it currently does,’ SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux told the South African media back in August last year. ‘Obviously, the first prize is that that doesn’t happen. Second prize is that there are some restrictions and we can manage in those restrictions.

‘To be fair, no spectators and an inability for people to travel would commercially not make this viable and there would be a serious reconsideration on how we then continue in terms of the tour.’

As far as contingencies go, it is clear that with so much riding on it, cancelling the tour is just not an option SA Rugby could afford at this stage.

Another interesting suggestion which has gained a bit of traction is to instead see the Springboks tour the United Kingdom in July, with warm-up fixtures against Japan and PRO14 title-holders Leinster before the three-Test series against the Lions in London, Cardiff and Dublin.

If spectators are allowed back in stadiums in the northern hemisphere by then, this is certainly a suggestion which has legs, especially considering the large South African ex-pat community currently residing in the UK.

Postpone British and Irish Lions tour if the need arises
Postpone British and Irish Lions tour if the need arises

It has also been proposed that the Lions instead return to either New Zealand or Australia, who have both recently been able to welcome crowds back to their respective stadiums. This would, however, mean that the invitational team could only return to South Africa in 2032 if the current rotational policy is abided by.

First prize has to be keeping the tour in South Africa. As the Springboks are the current World Cup holders, a series against the British & Irish Lions would hold more intrigue than any other. Given how difficult 2020 was for South Africa, the country needs something to look forward to and travelling fans from the UK will undoubtedly boost the country’s tourism sector.

That is why when a decision has to be made, the thought should be around postponing the tour until it is safe for fans to travel to South Africa.

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