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Is the 2021 Lions Tour Doomed?

Old Hooker

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I actually like this idea. I certainly don’t want it in the UK without a crowd. As you elude to Australia is full of British and South African ex-pats!. Needless to say the ARU could do with the money as well.
The Australians would only look to cover costs with any profits going back to SA. Which would be the right thing to do.
 

Kiwiwomble

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crazy idea

if you're choices are behind closed door in the UK or behind closed doors in SA...would you consider both teams coming to NZ or Aus, quarantine for two weeks and then play games in front of crowds, both teams can play mid week games against NPC teams, probably wont get 80-100,000 people like you might at home but we do love rugby and it might make viewing on TV more enjoyable as people tend to say its not the same having fake crowd noise etc

what a brave, creative and out of the box solution ;)
 
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mdaclarke

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I don't know. The UK is vaccinating 1% of it's population per day. Given that we need 2 doses then we are looking at 200 days, at the current rate. This rate could speed up. There is a reasonable chance that a sizeable proportion of the population could be done by the end of June.

It will then depend on South Africa.
 

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The first batch of 1 million doses is arriving today in SA. So our roll-out is going to start very soon.
 

Tallshort

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I just dont see SA or the UK & Ireland being viable until next year. We dont know if there will be another strain yet appear and they dont even know if the current vaccines work against the SA variant

NZ and Australia for whatever reasons have this virus under better control and should be considered. There are many expats living in Aus from the UK, SA and Ireland who would happily watch. Not sure about the actual populations of Aus and NZ. From memory the 2013 tour wasnt really a sell out and I'm not sure what kind of interest the Kiwis would have in a none NZ game given they are fairly dismissive of Northern hemisphere rugby.
 

ncurd

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Is the Australia thing something actually being considered or is it just one of those random ideas being thrown out there and see if it sticks? Honestly in my mind it actually has to be the worst ones out there mainly for the reasons tallshort states I can't see it being well supported but we seam obsessed with getting fans in the stadium for some reason when its really something that should just be off the table.

On SA/UK front I still can't see it happening with fans the UK best day for vaccinations was 600k so far (I'm still in disbelief) but even if thats kept up that still takes 96 days to get all the population with their first dose bearing in mind you have to have given second doses within 84 days and were already on the clock for for around 9 million vaccinations. So whilst we will technically have been able to give everyone a dose by 8th May we won't have and that doesn't make you that immune we also have no idea how much of impact that has as currently its only lockdown restrictions really slowing everything down.

There's probably an outside chance it can be done in front of crowds in the UK but its going to be incredibly tight and requires probably no slow down due to vaccine availability which is already becoming a complex topic.


As to SA they have a whole million doses with a population roughly the size of the UK minus who we've already vaccinated. They have at UK current vaccination rates less than two days of supply.....I might be mad but I'd suggest that unless they are ramp things up to being one of the best in the world and have supply for it the idea they'd be ready by July is laughable.
 

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TRF_Olyy

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So crowdless in SA it is, then, I guess
 

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Aye, I'd prefer the whole thing cancelled to be honest, but from that article it looks like they're going to play it behind closed doors in SA anyway
 

unrated

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Yea dont like the Australia idea at all.
I dont think out population will even be 40% vacinated before 2022. Our response is slow and unprofessional. Middle class and up Population will at some point just rely on private sector to import it in smaller quantities to buy at pharmacies. Cant believe the big talking governement. Uk is vacinating close to 2 million a week and only expect to be done by June, we only have 1.5 million doses, thats it no prospect of more for now. We will inevitably get more but then there are other stumbling blocks such as rollout and procurement (budget permiting) we are sooooo far behind. Government is now just trying to look good by making promises but we cant compete against the buying power of first world nations. Even Germany is trying to secure more vaccines and struggeling. So how can we compete?

With all that said. Best option for me is to play it in South Africa in empty stadiums. But make it special for the touring Lions. Peronalize their experiences. Make it the first lions tour focused on the digital market instead of the match day market. Even go play in smaller indoor stadiums , create ambiance with lights and music, find a way to make the atmosphere itimidating to the touring players without the Fans. Its just random ideas im throwing out there, i just feel it can really work even without fans.
 

mdaclarke

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Yea dont like the Australia idea at all.
I dont think out population will even be 40% vacinated before 2022. Our response is slow and unprofessional. Middle class and up Population will at some point just rely on private sector to import it in smaller quantities to buy at pharmacies. Cant believe the big talking governement. Uk is vacinating close to 2 million a week and only expect to be done by June, we only have 1.5 million doses, thats it no prospect of more for now. We will inevitably get more but then there are other stumbling blocks such as rollout and procurement (budget permiting) we are sooooo far behind. Government is now just trying to look good by making promises but we cant compete against the buying power of first world nations. Even Germany is trying to secure more vaccines and struggeling. So how can we compete?

With all that said. Best option for me is to play it in South Africa in empty stadiums.

I thought you guys had a Vaccine factory in South Africa (Aspen?)
 

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We do but its not for us. They tried to negotiate with us (government) to secure vaccines but governement did not reject their approaches but rather simply did not respond. Pfizer was baffled. Now they will just sell it to other countries. Out governement eventually woke up and was like "ok lets, negotiate" it was too late they started negotiations with more active countries.

 

ncurd

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and only expect to be done by June
Try August/September and that if we keep up 600k a day rate. Remember it requires two doses so you have double the actual number required.
 

Kiwiwomble

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I just dont see SA or the UK & Ireland being viable until next year. We dont know if there will be another strain yet appear and they dont even know if the current vaccines work against the SA variant

NZ and Australia for whatever reasons have this virus under better control and should be considered. There are many expats living in Aus from the UK, SA and Ireland who would happily watch. Not sure about the actual populations of Aus and NZ. From memory the 2013 tour wasnt really a sell out and I'm not sure what kind of interest the Kiwis would have in a none NZ game given they are fairly dismissive of Northern hemisphere rugby.
I don't think that last comment is quite true, some might think the NH club comp is less tough than super rugby but generally there is a lot or respect for the international teams (especially after the RWC) and definitely the lions, throw into that not having seen south Africa play for 18 months and if both teams did warm up matches against local teams I think it would sell out our smaller stadiums
 

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Well the numbers of infected people have been dropping quite signficantly the past 2 weeks, and one can't help but wonder whether this is because of Ivermectin? I was at the Vet yesterday afternoon to buy dogfood, and there was a seperate queue for people wanting to buy Ivermectin, then the lady at the till told me that they have been selling about 1000 boxes a day and they are afraid of having a shortage.

Based on the information coming through, SA have already secured about 20 million doses which will be coming in, the next few weeks or so, and it sounds like we'll be getting another 20 million very soon.

The issue is the roll-out of the vaccinations and how it will be distributed.

My opinion is that the metropolitan areas and the bigger cities get the vaccines first, as these are the areas where the hotspots are and where the spikes of infection is so much higher, the rural areas are not that bad and in some areas the infection hasn't spread at all in more than a month now.

If we can get the Gauteng Province completely immunised, we can easily have this tour with very little change. Remember that the stadiums will be mostly packed with B&I Lions supporters, as SA doesn't get the bulk of the tickets for this tour, so if the fans from the UK are coming over and they are immunised, I don't see any problem in having the stadiums full of people.

To have the Gauteng Province immunised would mean we'd have about 10 million people immunised. It would also mean Loftus Versfeld, Ellispark and Soccer City stadiums will be available to host matches. And then there a bunch of smaller stadiums also available to use for the warm-up games if needed.
 

saulan

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Any thoughts of South Africa having people in the stadiums are purely pipe dreams. It will not happen. Vaccinating people takes time, and the majority of the big bundles of vaccines that have purchased are vaguely coming in Q2. The country’s plan isn’t to do vaccinations based on geography, it’s being based on vulnerability and healthcare workers (like everyone else has).

The UK have actually been one of the leaders in vaccinations and their target is 15m vaccinated in about a 2 month time frame. We can only start with the first load of 1m in a weeks time. We won’t be as coordinated in SA vs the UK, we have a much larger area to provide for a similarish number of people and in general government run things haven’t always been the most coordinated (looking at applying for a passport, for example). (Also keep in mind that with most shots you are only at the high level of immune after the second shot 8 weeks later).

Given all that, SA really won’t be in any position to have open stadiums. All things point to behind closed doors Lions tour in SA, given the inability to postpone (tour commitments, World Cup preparation interference).

My question is, given everything, are we still going to see the complete tour or something cut down (e.g. the mid-week against the provincial teams still completed). Given that the broadcasters are driving the money in this now I get the feeling yes, given the more games the more views. But let’s see how it shapes up.
 

ncurd

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Admittedly due to start immediately but considering all the other international cricket that is happening and has happened.
 

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Any thoughts of South Africa having people in the stadiums are purely pipe dreams. It will not happen. Vaccinating people takes time, and the majority of the big bundles of vaccines that have purchased are vaguely coming in Q2. The country’s plan isn’t to do vaccinations based on geography, it’s being based on vulnerability and healthcare workers (like everyone else has).

The UK have actually been one of the leaders in vaccinations and their target is 15m vaccinated in about a 2 month time frame. We can only start with the first load of 1m in a weeks time. We won’t be as coordinated in SA vs the UK, we have a much larger area to provide for a similarish number of people and in general government run things haven’t always been the most coordinated (looking at applying for a passport, for example). (Also keep in mind that with most shots you are only at the high level of immune after the second shot 8 weeks later).

Given all that, SA really won’t be in any position to have open stadiums. All things point to behind closed doors Lions tour in SA, given the inability to postpone (tour commitments, World Cup preparation interference).

My question is, given everything, are we still going to see the complete tour or something cut down (e.g. the mid-week against the provincial teams still completed). Given that the broadcasters are driving the money in this now I get the feeling yes, given the more games the more views. But let’s see how it shapes up.

Why is it so hard to fathom that it can still happen?

Most of the fans at the stadium, will be UK based fans. And all of them will have been vaccinated by then. What possible danger/threat can they be to when they have already been vaccinated?

What I was getting at with having Gauteng Vaccinated, is that in a hypothetical setting, should it happen, this tour can be easily completed with the minimal of changes being made.

Plus, if the DA can be successful, their application to have private organisations obtain vaccines, the possibility is there that a lot more people can be vaccinated a lot earlier.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Most of the fans at the stadium, will be UK based fans. And all of them will have been vaccinated by then.
They wont though. The UK's numbers are great but only front line workers and over 70s have been jabbed so far barring the odd exception here and there, most only once. They also employ a 12 week gap and we're told it can take a further two weeks to be fully immune which means they need to be vaccinated 14 weeks prior to travelling to be immune. This means every fan would have to receive their first jab by mid April on the assumption they'll only travel over the week of the first test. Considering it's a safe estimate to say about 75% of Lions touring fans are between 35 and 60 and work in the tertiary sector it's just not going to happen, they're not prioritised. You also have Irish fans, not in the UK who
won't be vaccinated until around July/August at best in the aforementioned brackets and Scotland who I believe are managing their own roll out differently and less efficiently.

This is also forgetting that immune people can still aid the spread of the virus by touching surfaces and bringing it from one to another etc... so all five countries involved would have to be vaccinated completely two weeks prior to any travel, unless we start prioritising rugby fans it won't happen, even then it'd be touch and go. It is quite literally unfathomable that this tour goes ahead as planned.
 

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