British & Irish Lions coach bans HUGGING on SA tour

British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland insists his team are on heightened alert for the danger caused by the coronavirus following the recent setbacks suffered by England’s football team at the ongoing Euro 2020 championship.

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell have been forced to self-isolate until next Monday after coming into close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour following Friday’s Euro 2020 clash, ruling them out of Tuesday’s clash against the Czech Republic.

The British & Irish Lions will be operating in a bubble on their eighth tour of South Africa and Gatland revealed that even hugging between players is off-limits in the hope of preventing a Covid outbreak.

“We are very aware. The players that have had a couple of campaigns in the autumn and Six Nations – they were pretty good in terms of staying Covid-free,” Gatland said.

“So we have to make sure we adhere to the protocols. And second, that there is no hugging.”

The team will battle it out with Japan in a warm-up match at Murrayfield on Saturday with the first match of their tour of South Africa scheduled for Saturday, 3 July against the Lions at Ellis Park.

Their much-anticipated tour will culminate with three Tests against the world champion Springboks from Saturday, 24 July onwards.

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