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Next Summer's Lions Tour Will Have A Massive Wage Bill

Next Summer's Lions Tour Will Have A Massive Wage Bill
Conall Cahill
By Conall Cahill
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Playing ten games in five weeks in a hostile environment like New Zealand is an intimidating prospect for any player. But it must be said that pocketing nearly £100,000 for your efforts would soften the blow.

The 'Daily Mail' are reporting the huge wage bill that British and Irish Lions players are set to take home from their tour to New Zealand next summer, naming the figure as "close to £70,000 per man" on completion of the Tour plus a Test match win bonus of more than £20,000. This will bring the total wage bill up to beyond £3.5 million.

Another huge cost will be the insurance policy taken out for the trip, which is set to cost more than £1 million in payments for players' medical treatment and to clubs who will be missing those players for the duration of the tour.

Critics of tour in his current format have included Saracens head coach and former Irish international Mark McCall as well as Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty and Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young. McCall told BBC Radio that the heavy schedule is "ludicrous" and that this isn't highlighted because "it's the Lions, and the Lions are special".


Young, meanwhile, bemoaned the "patching up" process that has to occur in clubs after a Tour and, while he supports the Lions as a concept, questions whether the Tour could "start a week later".

British and Irish Lions chief executive John Feehan has called Lions tours "a necessity" for the host nations as "one of the biggest brands in world rugby". He has said recently that they "can" accommodate future changes to the format of the tour. And, in a perfect summation of the differences between those on the 'inside' and those on the 'outside' of the Tour, Feehan admitted he would prefer an additional "two or three weeks preparation".

It's fair to say that club coaches wouldn't be best pleased about that.


(Daily Mail)

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

SEE ALSO: Six Irish Players Who Could Play Their Way Into The Lions Squad This Season

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