The chairman of the Agency said The Telegraph’s proposal would “return the profits” to the competing teams.
- The hosts’ decision to tour this summer is expected “within the next ten days,” according to The Telegraph
- Other options include closed play in South Africa or draw in England and Ireland
- Elsewhere, Mastercard is renewing Rugby World Cup support for 2023
Australian Rugby (RA) chairman Hamish McLennan has confirmed this Telegraph that the national governing body is offering the Lions of England and Ireland financial guarantees if they agree to relocate this summer’s tour of South Africa Down Under.
News of Australia’s bid to host a union side rugby tour series against the Springboks first emerged last month amid increasing uncertainty surrounding tour eligibility due to the coronavirus situation in South Africa.
Now, The Telegraph reports that the RA has put forward a government-backed minimum guarantee that it will ‘cover the costs’ of moving the three-game series to Australia, while also ensuring that the Lions and South Africa will benefit from the tour. .
The RA commercial team outlined their plans for the tour in a presentation to Lions officials earlier this week, according to The Telegraph, adding that the national regulatory agency is also discussing key financial issues, including the impact of a change of location on the main sponsor.
Australia has had more success with the coronavirus outbreak than any other country and has hosted a number of major fan sports events in the past year, including the Tri-Nations rugby union tournament, the recently concluded Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament and international cricket matches.
Other options touted as possible solutions for the Lions tour include keeping South Africa behind closed doors, postponing draws until 2022 or hosting matches in England and Ireland.
The Telegraph report added that a final decision on the host nation is expected “in the next ten days”, and McLennan told the UK-based newspaper that the RA was ready to carry out its plans should the Lions choose to tour Australia.
“The next thing we will work on is to provide a minimum guarantee to South Africa and the Lions to cover tour costs and return the profits and we are confident that we can help with replacement sponsors if the main partner does not want to. support the Lions in Australia, “he said.
“We will continue the ethos of the Lions tour that plays out in the Southern Hemisphere. If we are told ‘yes’, we will do everything to make it a captivating and memorable tour.
“There are hundreds of thousands of Lions fans already living here and while it won’t be quite the same as a traditional Lions tour, it will be very close.”
In other rugby union news, financial services firm Mastercard has renewed its support for the 2023 edition of the Rugby World Cup in France.
Mastercard has been a worldwide partner of the flagship national team event since 2008, and is now the card of choice for the 2023 tournament, which will be the tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup.
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