British and Irish Lions managing director Ben Calveley has stated that they will soon make a decision on whether the tour to South Africa will take place this Summer.
Reports about the possible cancellation of the Lions tour came out earlier today suggesting that organisers were extremely concerned with the growth of coronavirus rates in the UK, Ireland and South Africa.
The sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the UK, Ireland and South Africa has put the tour in serious doubt. 👇https://t.co/krk9rRd7vA
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) January 2, 2021
Those reports appear to have been true, as the tour organisers have released a statement saying that they are aware they need to make a “timely decision” regarding the trip to South Africa.
“As you would expect, we are progressing with our plans based on the latest information available to us.
“However, given the uncertainty that continues to be caused by the coronavirus pandemic both in South Africa, as well as the UK and Ireland, we are very aware of the need to make a timely decision on the best way forward; not least so that we can provide clarity to supporters booked to travel to South Africa next summer, or those thinking of making the trip.
“To date, the Lions Board has had repeated meetings to discuss all scenarios available and is in constant dialogue. 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.
“In the meantime, we continue regular discussion with our partners in the UK, Ireland and South Africa, including the British High Commission in Pretoria, the Irish Embassy and various government departments, to ascertain as much information as possible on this fast-evolving, complex situation,” Calveley said in an official statement.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) January 2, 2021
As things stand, the Lions will play their first match in South Africa against the Stormers in Cape Town on the 3rd of July, with a match against Japan set to take place in Edinburgh the week before.
The Lions have not yet indicated whether postponing the tour until next summer is a viable option.