Thursday, December 2News That Matters

Lions could face large home crowds if South African officials approve 50 per cent capacities

The Lions are due to discover by the start of next week whether they will face large home crowds in South Africa.

The rugby authorities’ case will go before the country’s coronavirus command council, which will decide whether spectators can attend the eight tour fixtures, culminating in three Tests, and in what numbers.

The best-case scenario is that they will approve 50 per cent capacities.

The Lions will discover next week whether they will face large home crowds in South Africa

The Lions will discover next week whether they will face large home crowds in South Africa

The Lions will discover next week whether they will face large home crowds in South Africa

As reported by Sportsmail, original match tickets have been cancelled, new ones will be issued, and supporters will not be able to travel from the UK and Ireland. 

However, South African officials are hopeful that some local Springbok fans can attend matches.

Once there has been an official ruling, it is understood that the revised tour schedule will be announced next week, with the Lions due to be based in Johannesburg for their first three games, before two more warm-ups and the first Test in Cape Town. 

They will then return to Johannesburg for the last two high-altitude Tests, which are likely to take place at the 95,000-capacity FNB Stadium in Soweto — venue for the football World Cup final in 2010.

England boss Eddie Jones is stepping up his planning for Tests against the USA and Canada

England boss Eddie Jones is stepping up his planning for Tests against the USA and Canada

England boss Eddie Jones is stepping up his planning for Tests against the USA and Canada

Meanwhile, England head coach Eddie Jones is back in the country after a stint in Japan, where his role as a consultant at Suntory Sungoliath came under scrutiny after it emerged that he had been coaching and advising All Black playmaker Beauden Barrett.

The Australian is stepping up his planning for summer Tests against the USA at Twickenham on July 3 and against Canada, subject to confirmation of the latter fixture.

Jones was due at the AJ Bell Stadium for the Premiership clash between Sale and Leicester, before heading to the Rec for Saturday’s West Country derby between Bath and Bristol, who have Kyle Sinckler starting at tighthead prop with a point to prove after his shock Lions omission. 

On Sunday Jones will be back in the shadow of Twickenham for the Harlequins-Wasps game at the Stoop.