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Rugby Australia chief ‘surprised’ Lions tour to South Africa going ahead

lions tour

“The announcement this morning that they’re going to host the Lions tour took me by surprise a little bit.”

Rugby Australia (RA) chief executive Andy Marinos has admitted he is surprised by the news that the 2021 British and Irish Lions will tour South Africa as planned.

Marinos was speaking in the aftermath of the announcement that the Lions will go ahead with their planned tour of South Africa due to the improving Covid-19 situation in the country.

lions tour

Rugby Australia Lions.

The announcement has effectively ruled out Australia playing any part in hosting the Lions series which they had previously offered to do.

The RA chief executive expressed his surprise at the decision and doesn’t know what structure of a series will now take place.

“The announcement this morning that they’re going to host the Lions tour took me by surprise a little bit,” Marinos told reporters in Sydney.

lions south africa

“I don’t know what the structure around that is looking like.”

It looks increasingly likely that the Lions tour of South Africa will take place behind closed doors.

Australia Rugby Championship.

The former Wales centre does hope that Australia can host all of the Rugby Championship – which includes South Africa – but doesn’t envisage the Wallabies travelling to face the Springboks.

warren gatland

“We need to have those sort of robust conversations with South Africa, what does it mean?” Marinos continued.

“There’s more of a concern with our guys having to go over and potentially quarantine there than coming back and quarantining over here, which I know the South Africans are going to have to do if they come here.

“I think we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we’re probably going to be in a bubble in some way, shape or form.

lions south africa

“So we’re going to go through a process of determining where that needs to be.

“My request to Sanzaar is let’s get ahead of the game and build a proper model.”

Marinos also confirmed that Australia are still planning on hosting France this summer for a test series.

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