The significance of the British and Irish Lions Tour is summed up for me by an email a colleague received. An English associate of his was leaving his longstanding job sooner than he would’ve liked. So when he received this email, he believed it had something to do with this great personal shift. It didn’t. It was to ask my colleague his thoughts on whether the tour would go ahead, as he’d spent a great deal of time and money planning the trip as a supporter.
The British and Irish Lions Tour is rugby’s biggest and most valuable product after the Rugby World Cup – it is big for its players, huge for its fans, and critical for the rugby countries that host it.
This is built on a mix of the history of these tours dating back to 1888 and the exclusivity of them occurring once every four years on a rotational basis between South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. So the host nation gets a crack at the best of the Northern Hemisphere once every four years.
And when the stars truly…