The tour of British & Irish Lions to South Africa in the year 2021 will be cut short to eight matches. This is the move that has been welcomed by Premiership clubs of England, but future trips could be retained to 10 fixtures with the four home unions keeping the options for the team open.
Talks with Australia, South Africa and New Zealand with regards to the decision to cover the three tours in the upcoming 12 years are meeting a conclusion. From the Premiership, the Lions have come under pressure that secures the Rugby Football Union backing, to cut the tour duration and reduce the load on players those who are in form and leading the team.
The Lions most recently went on tour to New Zealand and played 10 matches this summer, but the first match was staged three days post their arrival. The tight schedule makes the players uncomfortable, and at the time, the team did not have even a single training session as a whole team before flying out due to the Premiership and the then finals of Pro12. With fans buying tickets to the Autumn Internationals through this link, and hoping to see players at their best, something had to give to allow the players a chance to recover in time for the usual Premiership season.
However, in 2021 the team will leave on a Tuesday, and the team will not play for a week at least. The decision if the team on Wednesday will play the first match in South Africa has not been taken yet. After the first Test, the team has no midweek matches have one game in between the first two international matches.
The reason why the Lions have agreed to cut short the number of fixtures is that South Africa would strive to field seven teams of required strength outside the Tests and will show a good performance.