British and Irish Lions turn down Australia's offer of hosting series against South Africa

Warren Gatland will coach British and Irish Lions during their series against South Africa
Warren Gatland will coach British and Irish Lions during their series against South Africa
©PA

British and Irish Lions have turned down the offer from Rugby Australia for hosting the three-Test series against the Springboks to be played later this year.

The Lions will kick-start their preparation to the series with a clash against Japan in Edinburgh on 26th June before they head to South Africa for tour games against South Africa 'Invitational', Cell C Sharks, South Africa and Vodacom Bulls following which they will face the Springboks in a three-game Test series.

However, the pandemic coronavirus has casted doubt on the series with a number of travel and logistical restrictions in place.

Earlier, Rugby Australia chief executive Hamish McLennan said Australia will be ready to host the series if playing in South Africa is not a viable option.

“Ultimately it’s their call,” McLennan told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“What we learnt from the Tri Nations last year and the tennis that’s happening now is that Australia can successfully stage global tournaments in a Covid-19 world.

“It’s particularly tough in the UK and South Africa at the moment and I believe the more international rugby that gets played the better. We’re here to help".

According to reports it is understood that the boards are discussing from various options from playing the games under closed doors or less occupancy to playing the series in UK and Ireland.

The last time the Lions toured South Africa was in 2009 which saw the Springboks register a 2-1 victory in the three-game series.

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