Sport Home Lions tour on the way with four Tests against the Springboks
Lions ask for Government help to host Test series against South Africa
EXCLUSIVE BY CHRIS FOY: The Lions have made an official request to the Government to underwrite a home 'tour' this summer, culminating in a Test series against South Africa. Sportsmail understands that, following a board meeting last Thursday to discuss contingencies for the Covid-disrupted event, the Lions approached the Government to obtain financial guarantees which would clear the way for arrangements to be made for fixtures in Britain and Ireland.Sources have indicated that the initial response was positive and rugby officials are optimistic they will receive the support they need.
Plans for a home Lions tour are taking shape with proposed warm-up fixtures against Japan, the Barbarians, South Africa ‘A’ and the USA.
Contingency planning is well under way and Sportsmail understands that tour chiefs are pushing to reach a decision by the end of the week. An eight-game schedule is the favoured option, with the possibility of four Tests against the Springboks in Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh and Twickenham.
Fixtures against Japan and South Africa A were part of the original tour itinerary but fixtures against South African franchises are likely to be scrapped due to Covid difficulties.
Bec Judd and Nadia Bartel share wild partying videos on Instagram
AFL's power WAGs Rebecca Judd and Nadia Bartel are celebrating Kylie Brown's 40th birthday by sharing wild, never-before-seen photos of them partying. On Wednesday, Nadia uploaded a few of videos of herself with Kylie - the wife of former Brisbane Lions captain Jonathan Brown - on her Instagram Story to celebrate her special day.The fashion designer, 35, who is the estranged wife of retired Geelong star Jimmy Bartel, posted one video which showed them dancing at a party.
Alternatively, the USA could provide warm-up opposition in two separate fixtures against the Lions and the Springboks. Playing matches against America would open up a lucrative commercial market, and the Barbarians can select UK-based players without the difficulties of international travel.
Another possibility is to play in South Africa behind closed doors, or a switch to Australia could be made. But with the prospect of crowds returning by summer, a home tour is now the most likely scenario.
Sportsmail understands the tour would break even with stadiums at around 25 per cent capacity. Requests have been made for the Government to underwrite the tour and officials are optimistic they will get the support they need. Any Test in Dublin would depend on Irish regulations.
Japan steps up COVID testing, but some say more effort needed
During pandemic’s course, Japan performed about 60 tests per 1,000 people, compared with 130 in S Korea and 1,000 in US.Some 300 people walking in the city and another 300 at local schools were given saliva-based PCR or polymerase chain reaction tests.
Meanwhile, Premiership Rugby look ready to allow their Scottish players to play in the re-arranged Six Nations match against France, likely to be on Friday March 26 — the week after the rest of the competition finishes.
The date is out of the player-release window, but although no formal decision has been made it is understood the league are prepared to make an exemption.
The match was postponed last weekend due to Covid cases in the French camp.
The Autumn’s women’s World Cup in New Zealand is set to be put back to 2022 due to Covid. World Rugby’s proposal is likely to be approved by the RWC Board and World Rugby Executive Committee next week.
Covid-19. Generalization of self-tests: an opinion from the Haute Autorité de Santé expected in March .
© REUTERS / ERIC GAILLARD A caregiver with a saliva sample to be tested in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), March 4, 2021 In an interview with the Huffington Post, Cédric Carbonneil, the head of the evaluation service for professional acts of the Haute Autorité de Santé, indicates that the Covid-19 saliva self-tests will soon arrive in France, and that an opinion should be issued during the month of March on the matter.