Discussions have started between the British and Irish Lions and rugby association’s home nations over the formation of a ladies’ group, it has been confirmed.
Managers of the Lions, the visiting side made up of players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have effectively held gatherings with three of the four countries, with the BBC revealing there is another book with the Irish Rugby Union.
The discussions so far have fixated on money-related suitability, timings, and visit goals.
With the increase in popularity in the ladies’ game number of club, players multiplied to 30000 only in England between 2014 and 2018– there have been required a female Lions group, with the men having visited since 1888.
The case was strengthened a month ago by Ben Calveley, the Lions managing director, who said it was an instance of “when not if” a ladies’ visit would occur.
As per the BBC, any ladies’ group would supposedly part from the men’s convention of visiting the southern hemisphere’s strongest rugby nations; Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Rather, a ladies’ timetable may focus on the US and Canada where the female game is stronger. The two regions are now positioned fourth and fifth individually by World Rugby, while Australia and South Africa are on seventh and eleventh.
A North American visit would help the game to introduce more and lift the Lion’s business execution in a market where men’s rugby association has attempted to have an enduring effect on and off the pitch.
A Lions spokesman said: “We can confirm that we’ve begun initial discussions with the home unions. They have been positive, informative and constructive.”
The first women tour date is not yet announced. Men’s Lions visits happen like clockwork, with the following in 2021.
Normally, the men’s World Cup and Lions visit are isolated by two years, so it is likely a ladies’ Lions group would go down a comparative course. Nonetheless, this does run the risk of conflicting with the men’s World Cup.
The Lions are one of the game’s greatest and most economically ground-breaking brands. A report from the BBC evaluated that every four-year cycle between visits creates a turnover of UK£39 million (US$47 million), while more than 35,000 fans made a trip to New Zealand for the last visit in 2017, with about half purchasing bundles from the in-house travel administrator, Lions Rugby Travel. Benefits go to the four home countries and are utilized to build up the game.