New Zealand Rugby and its Australian counterparts should be ready to pounce if the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa falls through.
While the coronavirus pandemic seems under control in New Zealand at least, it continues to run rampant in South Africa, so much so that the Lions’ tour to the country in July is in doubt.
South Africa has registered over 1.1 million coronavirus cases, with nearly 30,000 deaths.
There is possible light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines coming, but it’s unknown how much of an impact they will make by July.
It’s not a case of taking advantage of the dire situation in South Africa, but the New Zealand and Australian Rugby unions could look to come together to provide an alternative option.
If the tour to South Africa can’t happen this year, then a plan to come to New Zealand and Australia is worth looking at.
It’s not as if the Lions tour to South Africa can easily be put back a year. To have the tour one year before the next World Cup would be problematic, while on a local level, for the Chiefs, it could mean going another season without their coach, Warren Gatland.
Of course, there are already plans in place for the Lions vs All Blacks and Wallabies this year.