The 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour Will Be The Last Of Its Kind
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Huge changes in store.
The Lions tour to New Zealand this summer will be the last in its existing six-week format, Premiership Rugby has confirmed.
Premiership chief executive Mark McCafferty has echoed the stance of Rugby Football Union counterpart Ian Ritchie that the tours must be shortened as part of the new global season that comes into effect in 2020.
“We have been fairly outspoken. At the start of the season we said we were unhappy about the intensity of the schedule that had been signed up several years ago and it needs to change,” McCafferty said.
“To go through this kind of programme in the future is not feasible. To be playing 10 matches in a five-week period is too much and our views on that have not changed.
“Hopefully come 2021 some of those changes will come into place and they have largely been agreed. The duration of the tour is scheduled to come down by a week so that will mean a decrease in games.
“Ultimately it is up to the Lions how many games they put into the time frame, but we have a big interest in how players are managed through that.”