Alun Wyn Jones and Owen Farrell have reportedly joined forces to tell Lions bosses the summer series against South Africa must go ahead in some form, no matter what.
The Telegraph report the Wales and England skippers, along with Johnny Sexton and Stuart Hogg, attended a conference call this week and made their views crystal clear.
“The message was clear, the four captains told Lions officials: ‘We don’t care where, we don’t care how, please make it happen, the players are desperate for it to go ahead,’” a source told the Telegraph.
It comes amid reports a contingency plan to host the Test series in the UK is close to being shelved, with capacity crowds seemingly unlikely here by summer. That would make the series a financial risk, while many former players and pundits are strongly against the idea amid fears it diminishes the touring tradition of the Lions.
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With the complete cancellation of the tour looking a real prospect, the players are said to back it going ahead as originally planned, even if the games have to be played behind closed doors, as would almost certainly be the case in South Africa.
The only other option is delaying the tour until 2022, a move that is opposed by all the home unions because of the impact it would have on preparations for the 2023 World Cup.
Further talks are expected to be held this week, with Warren Gatland also due to arrive in the UK ahead of the Six Nations.