Great Britain

Lions ‘request tour vs South Africa be played in London, Cardiff and Dublin’ following government roadmap

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THE British and Irish Lions are hoping to salvage this summer's tour of South Africa... by bringing it to home soil.

Warren Gatland's men are set to take on Japan at Murrayfield before travelling to the southern hemisphere for a series of games in South Africa.

But the trip is set to fall through, with South Africa yet to launch a vaccination programme and its rugby team unlikely to benefit from extra government funding.

According to the Mail, Lions officials are refusing to give up on the matches, and want to bring them to home soil.

An official request has been lodged to the UK Government after a board meeting last Thursday, asking that they 'underwrite' a home tour in the summer.

Games would take place in London, Cardiff and Dublin - as well as possibly another at the host of the aforementioned Japan clash, Murrayfield.

Mail sources have indicated that the Government's initial response has been 'positive', with officials 'optimistic' that they can get the go ahead.

Australia have otherwise offered to take the tour Down Under, and are offering a £10million profit based on state backing.

But Lions officials would much rather stage the matches themselves rather than travel, given the current uncertainty.

Plans can only be stepped up after a commitment from Westminster, however.

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Yesterday's Government announcements suggest that crowd limits could be removed from June 21, potentially opening the door to a special atmosphere at Murrayfield just five days later.

Meanwhile, Six Nations chiefs are pondering whether to postpone Sunday's clash between France and Scotland, following a spate of positive Covid-19 tests within the French camp.

Ten Les Bleus players, including star man Antoine Dupont, are currently self-isolating and would be unavailable for the match.

A decision is expected tomorrow.

France vs Scotland Six Nations match in doubt as FIVE more Les Bleus players test positive for Covid including Ollivon

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