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Lions and All Blacks could face off in Twickenham decider

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8th April, 2020
17

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland wants his team to play a warm-up match against the All Blacks before their tour of South Africa next year.

Rugby, like most other sports, has been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Gatland, who coached the Lions in their drawn series in New Zealand in 2017, said the one-off decider could generate much-needed revenue when the sport resumes.

The 56-year-old added that he had broached the subject of the Lions playing the All Blacks to New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson, who mentioned New Zealand Maori as an alternative.

All Blacks British and Irish Lions Rugby Union 2017

(AP Photo/Mark Baker)

“But is it something that the All Blacks go up there for? A decider before we go off to South Africa at the end of June next year,” Gatland told Sky Sports New Zealand.

“Potentially it’s an opportunity to make five million pounds ($A10 million) from a game like that and put some money back into the coffers that we’re going to need.”

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Gatland stepped down as Wales coach after guiding them to the World Cup semi-finals last year and currently coaches Super Rugby side the Chiefs. He will take a year off from that role to lead the Lions on their tour.

The Lions play the first Test of the three-match series in South Africa at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on July 24, 2021, with the second Test to be staged at the Cape Town Stadium a week later.

The final Test will be played at the Springboks’ traditional fortress of Ellis Park in Johannesburg on August 7.

© AAP