Lions head coach Warren Gatland completed a week-long site visit to the Island on Friday and is believed to have been hugely impressed by what he described as ‘world-class’ facilities.
With a tour to Africa from June to August looking increasingly unlikely due to Covid, it is understood that the New Zealander could choose Strive in St Peter as a pre-series hub before sending the Lions into a four-game home series against the Springboks. The South Africans are believed to be considering similar preparations, with Jersey’s relatively low Covid case-rate adding to its appeal.
Strive, an elite performance complex currently under construction on land formerly owned by Jersey Reds, is due for completion in May and is set to feature an altitude chamber, hydrotherapy pool and state-of-the-art gym facilities.
Any deal struck will be subject to strict pandemic measures enforced by the Government of Jersey, although it is hoped that all visiting players and staff will have received a Covid vaccination before their potential arrival in June.
An announcement on the tour’s status is expected in early-March but it is understood that two Island hotels have already block-booked rooms for seven weeks throughout the summer, to accommodate players and staff from either squad.
Full story in Saturday’s JEP.