Sometime last week Sir Graham Henry suggested that the Lions should play their matches at home.
I don’t think anybody took too much notice at the time and assumed that he’d spent too much time sitting in the sun drinking Pimms.
“I wonder about having Lions Tests at home back in the British Isles,” Henry told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme.
“I wonder if that would be a possibility going forward. Ask the players and fans — that’s what the game is about. I’m sure they would all be very positive about the Lions brand continuing and maybe expanding in the future.
He didn’t expand on exactly how he believed this would work – probably too worried that blokes in white coats might be coming for him I imagine.
However, he has now gained some support for this from the Chairman of Saracens, Nigel Wray –
Ah I see now, the idea is that the Lions would tour Britain and Ireland instead of the Southern Hemisphere. Well, that makes a lot of sense – at least if you’re one of the Premiership or Pro 12 (sorry14) clubs anyway. For the Lions fans who want to join the crusade south, it sounds pretty dull.
A bit like telling your kids – “I know we said it was Disney World this year, but I’ve rented a caravan in Southend instead”.
I’m sure the fans will be right chuffed if this happens.
The clubs really don’t want the Lions tours – it risks their players and isn’t well enough financially compensated.
You can understand Wray’s position but if it is pursued it will really mean the extinction of the biggest brand in rugby.
The Lions are a touring side – but not traipsing around the UK and Ireland.