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Is the 2021 Lions Tour Doomed?

mdaclarke

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Just that really. With the new Coronavirus strain and the possibility of a fresh lockdown, do you guys think the tour is doomed?

There may just be home fans. If that was the case, maybe they would put it off for a year.

Another possibility is that they could sacrifice the Lions for the 6 nations if there is no chance of getting crowds into the grounds in February/March/April.

I would really really hope not as the Lions Tour is second only to a world cup for me. I am sure the players wouldn't want that either.
 

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I can see it being put off if there are no fans. Too much money at stake. That said, 2022 is probably too close to a world cup.
 

ncurd

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Honestly it all depends, Cricket in England last summer showed how you can successfully pull off international sport. However their tour of South Africa turned into a shambles.

There's also the vaccine to take into account.

At this present time I can't see it being played in front of fans though or at the very least in front of a full stadium.
 

Old Hooker

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Honestly it all depends, Cricket in England last summer showed how you can successfully pull off international sport. However their tour of South Africa turned into a shambles.

There's also the vaccine to take into account.

At this present time I can't see it being played in front of fans though or at the very least in front of a full stadium.
In which case it should be postponed. Either for a year or by a whole cycle to 2025.

While you can see Aus v NZ every other week, a Lions tour remains special by its very infrequency and deserves to be played in packed stadia. It’s a once in a career opportunity for the host players, a once or twice in a career opportunity for Lions players and a once every 12 year opportunity for host country fans. More so than many sporting events the fans really make the Lions what it is.

And although I often rail at the influence of money in sport, a Lions tour brings huge financial value to the host union once every 12 years and that ought to be maximised. SA shouldn’t miss out on that.
 

ncurd

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How much money does a Lions tours actually make from travelling fans as opposed to the TV rights? I'd love to do it someday but I know full well I'll likely never go watch a Lions match and the vast majority of rugby fans are in the same boat.

If its a once in a career opportunity for players why are we going to deny it for a 4 year cycle especially when those Welsh ;) players might not get a look in 4 years and not beplaying anywhere near as well as they are now?

Honestly we have to get use to the idea of stuff not being played in front of crowds it could be some time before that reaches relative normality again and a new strain resistant to the vaccine is always a possibility.
 

TRF_Olyy

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I imagine it'll be postponed - thousands of people travelling from Europe to RSA to mingle in large crowds with locals in different locations around the country just spells disaster, really.
 

Old Hooker

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How much money does a Lions tours actually make from travelling fans as opposed to the TV rights? I'd love to do it someday but I know full well I'll likely never go watch a Lions match and the vast majority of rugby fans are in the same boat.

If its a once in a career opportunity for players why are we going to deny it for a 4 year cycle especially when those Welsh ;) players might not get a look in 4 years and not beplaying anywhere near as well as they are now?

Honestly we have to get use to the idea of stuff not being played in front of crowds it could be some time before that reaches relative normality again and a new strain resistant to the vaccine is always a possibility.
Of course you’re right about the TV money. I don’t know how much cash the fans generate, but it’s going to be very significant for local economies. Look at the crowd for tests - you’d have to guess low tens of thousands of Lions fans at least, by definition most of which are likely to be fairly well heeled, or have saved hard for a trip of a lifetime. Hotels, restaurants, bars, taxis, car hire, tourist attractions, airlines etc, all COVID decimated industries, stand to benefit. And it’s not the case that the same few thousand follow the tour from start to finish, many will dip in and out with all the extra work that entails.

My glass is generally half empty, but I’m actually quite positive on what the post vaccination world might look like. If that proves to be misguided then I’ll think again. But right now if a little patience is required so that everyone can get the full Lions experience so be it.

I also take the same view for the other massive set pieces of the sporting world that occur on a cyclical basis - Olympics, Ashes, Wendyball world cup etc. It’s different for lower level fixtures or annual events.
 

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I think it'll be postponed to be honest..a lot of flights are cancelled now,and almost the whole Europe is on lockdown like Poland : till mid January (but I think it will be finally till March-April plus hard restrictions during summer-autumn)

I bloody hope not
Was that you who got a ticket for the opening test in Johannesburg?
 
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TommiG88

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I think it'll be postponed to be honest..a lot of flights are cancelled now,and almost the whole Europe is on lockdown like Poland : till mid January (but I think it will be finally till March-April plus hard restrictions during summer-autumn)


Was that you who got a ticket for the opening test in Johannesburg?
Yeah, I got a ticket for the opening test.
 

mdaclarke

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Hopefully I am being overly negative. There is the vaccine. The tour is a long time away and the Covid situation in South Africa does seem a little better than in the UK.
 

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deadlypea

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The amount of cash 30 000 travelling supporters will inject into a crippled Tourism sector in SA would be highly valued. I've got tickets for all the club games and one spot for the 2nd test...I hope it goes ahead, we are in peak winter season up here and down there it will be peak winter during the Lions tour so it's anyone's guess where things will be come July 2021.
 

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Times saying this morning that RSA has more than one million cases, the UK has barred all direct flights and the Foreign Office has advised against travelling. That’s today and a lot can change in a few months but if it goes ahead you struggle to see how it could be other than behind closed doors.
 

mdaclarke

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Times saying this morning that RSA has more than one million cases, the UK has barred all direct flights and the Foreign Office has advised against travelling. That’s today and a lot can change in a few months but if it goes ahead you struggle to see how it could be other than behind closed doors.
I'm a bit more hopeful than I was before that the tour may be OK. If the Oxford Vaccine gets approved and distributed quickly I think we will go back to normal soon.

The papers seem a bit more positive


The Oxford Vaccine is the game changer not the Pfizer.
 

mdaclarke

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Not good

Sounds like it may be put off to 2022

Don't think they would cancel it altogether
 

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Right call,
UK and South Africa both in a right state atm with the virus - and I think The Beta Bro said Ireland have gone back into lockdown so they can't be doing too well as well.

Not enough people will be vaccinated by the time the tour happens to make it safe
 

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