The British and Irish Lions are still planning on playing a rare home test next year against Japan, The Times reported Friday.
A potential ‘series decider’ against the All Blacks has reportedly fallen through while a clash with the Barbarians had also been rumoured.
However, Japan, who defeated Ireland and Scotland last autumn in reaching the quarterfinals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, are top of the list of potential opponents..
Twickenham, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and Murrayfield are all in contention to stage the game, which would take place the day after the 2021 Gallagher Premiership final, due to be on June 26.
The Lions are already scheduled for an eight-match tour of South Africa, and if a home test against Japan does occur in June 2021, it will be the Lions’ first home test since they played Argentina in 2005.
EDITORS PICKS |
- England fans react to new Umbro kit
- An All-Time Lions Greatest Ever Playing Squad
- Owen Farrell shaves head to raise funds
- LIST | 5 Famous rugby myths debunked
The tour to face the world champions is scheduled for 3 July to 7 August.
While the Lions still expect the tour to proceed as planned, it’s understood officials have discussed the possibility of shifting to later in the year, not only in case of health restrictions which might still in place because of the pandemic, but also to align with any proposed new international schedule.
This would also avoid an overlap with the re-arranged Tokyo Olympic Games.
Sir Ian McGeechan picks seven Englishmen in his Lions 2021 XV
Rugby legend Sir Ian McGeechan has picked his best British & Irish Lions XV for their 2021 tour of South Africa.
Picking his team for the BBC, he’s selected seven England stars in his selection.
15: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14: Anthony Watson (England)
“I’d definitely have Watson. He’s great under the high ball, has unbelievable feet and would be outstanding on hard South African grounds.”
13: Jonathan Davies (Wales)
12: Manu Tuilagi (England)
“At 12, I have to go with Manu. There’s such power there. And you’ll need that.”