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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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McGeechan calls for Itoje to replace Jones as Lions skipper

Sir Ian McGeechan says England lock Maro Itoje should captain the British & Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa in 2021 instead of Alun Wyn Jones who is ‘no longer a potential starter’.

McGeechan, who played for the Lions and coached them on three tours, believes Jones should be made the midweek captain, with Itoje leading the team in the three Test series against the Boks. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

‘Itoje is the likely skipper of this Lions party,’ McGeechan wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.

‘He was outstandingly influential in [the drawn series with the All Blacks in] 2017, growing with every game and really asserting himself in the biggest games. His game involvement is very high, and his discipline is now excellent.

McGeechan calls for Itoje to replace Jones as Lions skipper

‘When you go to South Africa you have to match their forwards for physicality, and it’s no coincidence that every Lions side to tour South Africa in the past 50 years was captained by second rows – Willie-John McBride in 1974, Bill Beaumont in 1980, Martin Johnson in 1997 and Paul O’Connell in 2009.’

McGeechan said Itoje’s ability and that of ‘so many other potential Lions locks’ to play in the back row should encourage Lions coach Warren Gatland to take six second rows.

‘James Ryan will go, and I really rate the versatile Iain Henderson so would definitely take him, as I would Courtney Lawes, who was brilliant in New Zealand. I’m also a Joe Launchbury fan, while Jonny Gray, Johnny Hill, Scott Cummings, George Kruis and Quinn Roux are also in contention.’

He added that Jones, world rugby’s most capped Test player, should lead the midweek team but not the Test team because he is ‘no longer a potential starter’ in the Test team.

‘He is a born winner and Lions legend, and on such a short tour Warren will desperately need players who can lead by example, especially in training as well as on the field.’

McGeechan calls for Itoje to replace Jones as Lions skipper
McGeechan calls for Itoje to replace Jones as Lions skipper

McGeechan then listed Itoje as one of six players who could have ‘a momentous 2021’ with the Lions.

The others were Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie, Ireland loose forward Caelan Doris, Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell, England centre Ollie Lawrence and Wales’ teenage wing Louis Rees-Zammit, who McGeechan believes ‘has the pace to excel on the hard, fast grounds in South Africa’.

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British Lions could tour Japan in wake of sides meeting at Murrayfield

The British and Irish Lions have opened the entryway for a future visit through Japan after reporting just the third home coordinate in their famous history against the Brave Blossoms the following summer.

Warren Gatland’s side will confront Japan at Murrayfield on 26 June the very day as the Premiership last and keeping in mind that they will do as such with no England players, the apparatus will fill in as a key aspect of the Lions’ arrangements before confronting the titleholders.

British Lions could tour Japan in wake of sides meeting at Murrayfield
British Lions could tour Japan in wake of sides meeting at Murrayfield

The outing to South Africa will be the first since the San Francisco understanding in 2017 when it was chosen by the game’s powerbrokers that visits would be sliced to eight matches. That gathering was disputable because the Lions were not appropriately spoken to and keeping in mind that the Murrayfield coordinate expands the number of installations to nine, the Premiership clubs’ refusal to make any of their player’s accessible shows further how the Lions are getting progressively minimized.

Their put on the worldwide timetable is, at any rate, ensured up to 2032, as indicated by the San Francisco arrangement; however, the worldwide schedule is easily proven wrong with various associations anxious to move the current summer window to October. Should that occur, a visit through Japan which solidified itself as rugby’s greatest new transmission market during a year ago’s World Cup could draw nearer to turning out to be a reality.

The Lions’ overseeing chief, Ben Calveley, stated: “We’re building up a relationship here with Japan; this is the first occasion when that the Lions has played against Japan and it will be a memorable Test. My view is that the Lions can offer a horrendous part to the development of the worldwide game and we ought to consider how best it can do that.

“I will keep on speaking to the Lions admirably well inside those worldwide arrangements when they occur, while the Lions might not have been straightforwardly spoken to in the room beforehand, we are presently legitimately spoken to and I make all the focuses that I require to make as many of those worldwide season exchanges happen.”

British Lions could tour Japan in wake of sides meeting at Murrayfield

Calveley likewise uncovered that Gatland, who has spent the previous month going to a large group of club matches, will defer naming his associate mentors until the New Year yet affirmed conversations had opened with the home associations.

Four years prior, Gatland needed Gregor Townsend, who had quite recently been delegated Scotland’s lead trainer, to be important for his reserved alcove staff however he was unable to make sure about his delivery. Calveley, however, is hopeful no such issues will happen this time. The Ireland lead trainer, Andy Farrell, has been important for the instructing group for as far back as two visits, and keeping in mind that he as of late said he has not been drawn nearer by Gatland he didn’t preclude a third Lions trip.

Calveley likewise said club mentors will likewise be thought of, raising the possibility of the Crusaders’ Scott Robertson, who has communicated an intrigue, Stuart Lancaster from Leinster or Exeter’s Rob Baxter being included.

Calveley stated: “What Warren and I have been doing is getting round the lead trainers and the CEOs from every one of the four associations and I can affirm they’re all amazingly strong, as you would anticipate that they should be because they comprehend the estimation of the Lions.

British Lions could tour Japan in wake of sides meeting at Murrayfield

“I don’t believe there’s any presumption the mentors need to originate from inside the association builds, they could emerge out of a club climate.

“We’re open we’re keen on designating mentors that can assist us with winning in South Africa and that are the principal measures. Anybody that can assist us with winning these Test matches would be intriguing to Warren and eventually, it’s his call.”

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