The British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa could fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic if travelling fans are prevented from attending.

That is the warning from South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux, ahead of next year’s tour which is scheduled to start with a first Test on July 24.

Roux told a press conference: “There has been some talk of moving it out [to a new date], but our travel advice is that by June/July, we should be at what is deemed to be normal international travel.

No spectators and people not being able to travel would not make this commercially viable

South Africa rugby chief executive Jurie Roux

“But we are monitoring it on a monthly basis. Travelling for international events will likely still be under more pressure than pre-Covid [in July 2021].

“No spectators and people not being able to travel would not make this commercially viable and then we would discuss how we continue with the tour.”

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