Australia warm to 'southern hemisphere Lions' idea
July 3, 2013
Bill Pulver has ambitions for the future © Getty Images
Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief Bill Pulver has said he "would love it" if it was possible to create a southern hemisphere Lions and also said he believed there was a gap in the international calendar for it to happen.
"We've now got a cycle where we've got a Lions tour one year, a World Cup in one year and we've now got a rugby sevens at Olympic Games in one year," he said. "In some ways there's an extra year which opens itself up to a couple of interesting concepts.
"We're about to embark in the ARU on a strategic planning process and it really does invite a lot of creative thought to think of a Lions equivalent from the southern hemisphere.
"We're not very far down the track in terms of discussion around that. Some of the countries in the southern hemisphere are concerned about the amount of rugby their senior players are playing. It would have to be addressed in that context but it certainly invites a lot of exciting thought, doesn't it?"
In its broadest form the side would feature Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina but even if there was no buy-in from all boards Pulver said he would "even be happy to take the best of Australia and New Zealand".
He went on to say that if this could be done in 2015 it could coincide with the centenary of Gallipoli, but even if not he favoured playing a combined Australia-New Zealand team against a northern hemisphere opposition. "There's some terrific ideas there, there's an opportunity to take this game to another level and I think they have to be looked at seriously."
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