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Finn Russell Lions coach Warren Gatland loses battle for extra ‘home’ game after Premiership clubs fail to back down
- Gatland wanted a week on these shores with his squad before the tour in 2021
- British & Irish Lions trip to South Africa will consist of eight games in five weeks
- That is down from the 10 that was played in the 2009, 2013 and 2017 series
- The three Tests remain for Warren Gatland’s side, with first played on July 24
By Will Kelleher For The Daily Mail
The Lions lost their battle with Premiership Rugby over the idea of staging an extra ‘home’ fixture before their South Africa tour in 2021 as the English clubs gave them a firm no.
Warren Gatland, who will take charge of his third tour in 18 months’ time, wanted a week on these shores with his full squad before the trip.
And the Lions suggested playing a lucrative match on June 26, 2021 — possibly at Twickenham — before they flew to face the world champions.
Coach Warren Gatland (right) will take charge of his third Lions tour in 18 months’ time
It would have required the Premiership to bring their final for that year forward a week, as the Pro14 league have done, but they have dismissed the plan out of hand.
Sportsmail understands the Lions were hopeful of assistance from the English clubs and floated the idea in the summer but Premiership Rugby rejected it before the season began.
On Wednesday they confirmed that they would not budge.
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