British Lions

Australia offer to host South Africa's British and Irish Lions tour

The Lions are scheduled to play eight matches in South Africa, including a three-match series against the world champion Springboks, starting on 3 July in Cape Town.

Both Britain and South Africa are still firmly in the grip of the virus, however, and Lions officials are scheduled to decide this month whether to proceed with the tour or look at other options.

Australia has been relatively successful in containing the pandemic and in November and December staged the Rugby Championship, renamed the Tri-Nations, after South Africa withdrew.

Lions to play Japan

The Lions will host the Brave Blossoms in Edinburgh next June ahead of their tour of South Africa.

It will mark just the third time the Lions have played on home soil following games in Cardiff against Argentina in 2005 and a Rest of the World XV in 1986.

"We saw Japan play some excellent rugby during the World Cup and they will come to Edinburgh fully-motivated to win," Lions head coach Warren Gatland said.

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph said it was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for the players.

The Lions play South Africa in three tests in July-August.