Lions Tour: Plans being drawn up to host South Africa series in the UK and Ireland

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As the COVID-19 pandemic battle rolls on across the globe, this summer could see unprecedented moves in rugby for a home Lions tour to take place.

For the 2021 sporting calendar, one of the biggest circles to be drawn on the 12-month itinerary was always likely to be the British and Irish Lions' quadrennial jaunt to the southern hemisphere, which this year was set to take place in South Africa.

As the Rainbow nation attempts to combat their own mutant strain of coronavirus however, those plans remain shrouded in doubt.

Now, if reports are to be believed, contingency plans are being drawn up which could see an eight-game tour being played on home soil for the first time instead.

As claimed in the Daily Mail, July and August are being looked at as a possible schedule, with four warm-up games and four Tests - one more than usual - in each capital of the home nations.

That would mean Twickenham, Murrayfield, the Aviva Stadium and the Millennium Stadium could each get their slice of the Lions' pie this summer.

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Whilst games versus South Africa A and Japan are already being organised, it is believed that a further two against the Barbarians and the USA could also be added.

It is further mooted that Jersey could also be used as the Lions' neutral training base, whilst it is yet unclear where the Springboks would be housed in preparation to any possible home tour.

Though hopes remain that the Lions can still travel to South Africa this summer, a huge discrepancy in vaccination programs globally, threaten to complicate matters.

And with UK Prime Minister keen to bring Euro 2020 home this summer as a one-nation tournament, a home Lions tour would sweeten a sporting summer, should levels of Covid containment allow.

This is definitely one to keep an eye on.

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