Mark Alexander says with the help of government, SA Rugby will be able to navigate the challenges posed by Covid-19 despite the fact that the original Lions tour schedule is subject to review due to the pandemic and its predicted progression.
On Tuesday, it was confirmed that the British & Irish Lions tour is set to go ahead in South Africa as originally planned, with the contingency to relocate the tour to the UK dismissed by the Lions board.
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In a statement earlier on Tuesday, Alexander, in his capacity as SA Rugby president, said he would inform the executive council of SA Rugby of the alignment.
‘We appreciate the Lions’ faith and share their desire to see a safe and successful tour,’ he said.
‘We have been in regular contact with our government to make that a reality against the backdrop of the pandemic and its predicted progression over the coming months.
‘There are serious financial implications for SA Rugby, should the event take place without any supporters in attendance, and we cannot ignore that in our considerations. But we are determined that the eventual outcome will deliver the best occasion and experience for players, supporters and our commercial partners.’
Alexander further explained that the original tour schedule was subject to review because of those considerations. Should any changes be required they will be communicated as soon as possible.
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Alexander thanked the Lions series’ commercial partners as well as the British & Irish Lions and ticket holders for their patience during the extended period of uncertainty.
‘As hosts and “owners” of the Lions Series no one has been more affected or more challenged by the current circumstances than SA Rugby,’ Alexander added.
‘However, with the support of our government and good planning we can navigate the pandemic to nonetheless create a most memorable event for players, fans and partners.’
Photo: Jason O’Brien/Gallo images