British and Irish Lions trip already breeding further interest

THE British & Irish Lions’ decision to use Jersey as their training base is ‘proof that there are no closed doors in rugby’.

The British and Irish Lions upcoming trip to Jersey has already sparked interest from other elite clubs, including Premiership giants Leicester Tigers
The British and Irish Lions upcoming trip to Jersey has already sparked interest from other elite clubs, including Premiership giants Leicester Tigers

That is the view of Jersey Reds chairman Mark Morgan, who feels the opportunity to showcase the Island’s first-class sports facilities is already having the desired domino effect.

The Lions will be using the Reds’ facilities at St Peter from 14-24 June, as well as the neighbouring multi-million pound Strive Health Club and sports academy.

Speaking of ‘The Lions effect’, Morgan feels it is a significant step as the Reds look to place themselves as ‘the perfect development club with state-of-the-art facilities’.

This week the club confirmed Leicester Tigers will visit the Island in August for a pre-season training camp and fixture against the Reds.

'Having the Lions here has piqued other elite clubs’ interest,' said Morgan.

‘The effect illustrates already what impact the furore around the Lions is having.’

The first group of Lions players will arrive this Sunday, with those featuring in the Premiership play-offs potentially joining them once their club commitments have ended.

The five Saracens players picked by Gatland, including England captain Owen Farrell, are unlikely to arrive until Monday 21 June at the earliest as their two-legged Championship final against Ealing does not conclude until the day before.

The squad departs for Murrayfield on 24 June and will play Japan in a friendly two days later.

Full story in Thursday's JEP.

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