British and Irish Lions Tour Announcement Greeted With Controversy

by admin on September 1, 2016

For years and years discrepancies between the national team and the Premier League has blighted English football. Accusations of not having the national team in mind when it comes to scheduling have been thrown around, now however, it appears our sport and the lack of ‘rest periods’ is resulting in a fall out in our game.

The announcement of the British and Irish Lions tour has been greeted with disgust by Premiership team bosses who have collectively described the decision as ‘ludicrous’.  The tour will see the Lions travel to New Zealand for a 10 game series, the first of which is set to take place just a week after the Premiership and Pro12 finals.

 

In defence of the tour, Lions Chief Executive John Feehan stated that the scheduling was no different to that of 2009 and 2013 in terms of both the amount of matches and the timeframe in which they are to be played.

 

Several Saracen players are set to feature in the Lions squad and their Director of Rugby Mark McCall slammed the planning, calling it ‘ludicrous’ and putting it down to the fact that “the Lions are ‘special’”, insinuating that teams have to give too much for the team made up of home nations.

British Lions Tour Announced

The dates will also make the tour planning more difficult for the organisers as they cater for travel arrangements for those players who will feature in either of the finals.  Any players playing in either final will undoubtedly have to travel separately to the rest of the group and will travel late, possibly arriving two days before the curtain raiser at the Toll Stadium in Whangarei.

 

The pinnacle of the tour will see The Lions face the All Blacks in three tests.  The first of which will take place on 24th June at Eden Park, Auckland.  The second test will be just over a week later on 1st July at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington before returning to Eden Park for the third and final test on July 8th.

 

There have been calls to start the tour a week later and to reduce the number of games on the tour but Feehan cited the complex nature of both the European and domestic competitions saying that no outcome is ideal for all parties involved.

 

The full list of British and Irish Lions fixtures for the 2017 tour:

 

3 June – Provincial union team (Toll Stadium, Whangarei)

7 June – Blues (Eden Park, Auckland)

10 June – Crusaders (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)

13 June – Highlanders (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin)

17 June – Maori (International Stadium, Rotorua)

20 June – Chiefs (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton)

24 June – New Zealand (First Test, Eden Park, Auckland)

27 June – Hurricanes (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)

1 July – New Zealand (Second Test, Westpac Stadium, Wellington)

8 July – New Zealand (Third Test, Eden Park, Auckland)

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