Image: The Principality Stadium; Wales Rugby Union

Covid restrictions are due to be lifted in England on 21st June, enabling a Lions 'home tour' against South Africa with fans. From possible host venues to hospitality options, here’s everything we know so far.

Last updated: 16/03/21 at 11:48

Faced with the threat of disruption, emergency talks are being held in a bid to save the Lions tour from not going ahead. The tour is on the verge of cancellation due to the new more transmissible variant of the coronavirus, which could impact fans ability to travel to South Africa.

It has emerged that the Lions board of directors have discussed a contingency plan for the possible abandonment of the trip: to switch venues. Instead, test matches would be played at UK stadiums in each of the home nations.

According to the BBC, ‘the South African rugby union has previously made it clear that a tour without visiting fans would not be commercially viable for them.’  

By summer 2021, the UK hopes that further mass roll outs of the vaccine will allow for fans to attend games.

It has been suggested that the tour could be postponed to 2022. However, this would clash with the Test matches already scheduled in that time period for all four nations.

So, let’s take a look at the potential UK venues that could host the 2021 Lions Tour and their hospitality offerings.

Register here for Lions Tour hospitality

UK and Irish stadiums most likely to host the Lions tour 2021

BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Image: BT Murrayfield Stadium; Scottish Rugby Union

On 26th June 2021, the Lions will face Japan in a warm-up test at BT Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby. Following this match, they were due to head to South Africa to play five provincial games before the three-Test series against the world champions.

The contingency plan would see the Test matches held at various locations across Britain. The VIP Matchday Experience at Murrayfield reflects the historic past associated with the hallowed turf in Edinburgh.

Of all the stadium's facilities, the Hospitality Village and the Thistle Suite offer a premium yet relaxed experience, with a huge variety of luxury touches for fans.

Register here for hospitality at Murrayfield

Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Image: Principality Stadium; WRU

The Principality Stadium is world-renowned for its incredible hair-raising atmosphere - most notably the unrivalled rendition of the Welsh Rugby National Anthem, which often sees 74,500 fans singing their hearts out in unison before each match.

Awash with a sea of red Welsh jerseys with a splattering of yellow dandelion costumes, the Principality Stadium creates a hostile yet enjoyable atmosphere for anyone visiting.

The Principality Stadium has some incredible hospitality facilities on offer. Whether it’s a Private Suite, The Players’ Lounge or The Captain’s Club hosted by Sam Warburton, the hospitality staff will ensure you have an unforgettable experience.

You will be treated to exquisite fine-dining,complimentary bars and appearances from rugby legends all centered around an exhilarating 80-minute Wales rugby match.

Register for hospitality at Principality Stadium

Twickenham Stadium, London

Home of England rugby, Twickenham Stadium is the largest dedicated rugby venue in the world, seating up 84,000 fans. Twickenham host’s England’s Six Nations matches as well as inbound touring teams from the Southern Hemisphere.

Twickenham Stadium offers fans world class rugby hospitality and VIP matchday experiences to be enjoyed in the Players Lounge, The East Wing, Rugby House, British Airways Rose Garden, The Lock and The Gate. For a more intimate hospitality experience, executive boxes can be booked for groups.  

Register here for hospitality at Twickenham

Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Aviva Stadium is the home of the Irish national rugby team, taking over from their temporary home at Croke Park. It is built on the site of the former Lansdowne Road Stadium and has a capacity of 51,700 spectators.

Experience Official IRFU Hospitality in world-class facilities at the Aviva Stadium. Enjoy the sophistication of a gourmet dining experience mixed with the atmosphere of an International test rugby match.

Register here for hospitality at Aviva Stadium

What could UK and Ireland Lions tour fixture dates look like?

Rugby Onslaught revealed that 'documents purporting to be the British and Irish Lions schedule have been leaked online and are now doing the rounds on Twitter and Whats App.'

The documents propose a Lions series in July and August in the UK, with Test matches to be held at all four Home Nations stadiums. If the documents are real, then a tour of South Africa is very unlikely, as is the possibility of Australia hosting the tour.  

The Tweet above shows one of two leaked schedules, with another showing a match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in place of the North West London fixture. Other rumoured UK venues include the Principality Stadium, Twickenham Stadium and BT Murrayfield.

*Fixtures have not been officially finalised or confirmed.  

When will the 2021 Lions tour fixtures be announced?

In the coming weeks, the Lions board of directors are expected to confirm changes to the 2021 Lions tour. We will keep this page updated with the latest information regarding fixtures dates, venues and hospitality options as soon as they become available.

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