No extra time for Lions as tour chiefs oppose calls for a sudden death sentence or penalty shootout in South Africa this summer, despite the series ending in a deadlock in New Zealand in 2017
- Lions shared the trophy on the final tour after a drawn test series with All Blacks
- Players and fans called for a series decider to avoid a repeat of the 2017 scenario
- But Lions and Springboks will share the trophy if the series ends in a tie
The Lions series in South Africa could end in a stalemate, just like the anti-climactic tour of New Zealand four years ago, with no extra time resolution built in.
Sportsmail can reveal that when the Lions and Springboks finish the level of the series of three matches, they will share the trophy – as the tourists did with the All Blacks in 2017.
Four years ago, New Zealand defeated the Lions 30-15 in the first Test at Eden Park, then the Lions won the second Test in Wellington 24-21, before the dramatic 15-15 withdrawal in Auckland.
The Lions shared the trophy with All Blacks after the drawn Test Series in 2017
The players were unsure whether there would be a sudden death spell, extra time or penalty shootout, and after the series was split, the tourists and fans called for a decision maker to avoid another draw.
But it is clear that there has been opposition to the movement for the trip to South Africa, raising the likelihood that the Lions series could end in a damp feud again.
The Lions last lost a Test series in 2009 in South Africa, a painful 2-1 defeat, before their 2-1 win over Australia in 2013.
The lions are still waiting to hear if they will meet the home crowd in South Africa
Meanwhile, there is still a vague hope that the players’ families will be able to attend the Lions matches.
If South Africa’s Covid Protocols allow large numbers of local fans, parents, partners and families of the 37 players may be able to travel – if the Lions can get tickets and all visitors comply with quarantine measures.
Currently, South Africa is on the UK’s red list for its Covid variant, meaning any Lions fan will be quarantined upon return.
Meanwhile, Eddie Jones will spend two days coaching rugby league side Hull FC as part of a reciprocal agreement with their Australian coach Brett Hodgson. It comes just two weeks after the England coach was criticized for spending time with Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath.