Vermeulen eyes prospect of Lions series in Britain and Ireland

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South Africa has been hit hard by Covid-19 and the chances of hosting the tour are slim which will see the country miss out on the financial benefits of hosting legions of Lions fans.


A final decision is expected to be made by the Lions board by the end of the month.


Vermeulen told South Africa media during an online media conference announcing his player of the year award that the decision to transfer the series was a difficult one.


"We would love to have the British & Irish Lions in South Africa. You only get them every 12 years.


"For our economy, the masses of people that could be coming into South Africa, spending some pounds in the country on the wine farms and tourism, it would be a pity if it doesn't happen in South Africa," he said.



While there had been a lot of adaptation done to try and find ways to keep rugby going, the Covid-19 pandemic had thrown some different scenarios at the game.


"If it [the series] happens and we have to go play there, then we can't really do anything about it.


"We haven't played any Springbok rugby for the past couple of years. If we can play, it doesn't matter where we can play, as long as we are playing, that would be a positive for South African rugby," he said.


Should the series be played in Britain and Ireland, then the prospect of playing in the Rainbow Cup against the PRO14 teams could be a stepping stone to have the Springboks ready to face the Lions.


"It would be beneficial for us going up against guys who might be selected for the Lions series, and getting used to the conditions.


"Also for South Africa Rugby to see how we perform in those conditions, to see who they can rely on, and who they can pick for those specific conditions," he said.


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