Likelihood of Lions coming rated ‘50-50’

RAIDERS co-chair Charles McHugh expects Guernsey won’t have to wait too long to learn whether the British and Irish Lions will base themselves in the island ahead of their South African tour.

Guernsey Rugby Club co-chair Charles McHugh. (Picture by Martin Gray,, 29403324)
Guernsey Rugby Club co-chair Charles McHugh. (Picture by Martin Gray,, 29403324)

Lions’ coach Warren Gatland spent much of the Easter weekend on island looking at facilities and holding preliminary talks with government officials.

Asked what were the chances of the Lions coming, McHugh, who met him as part of those talks, said: ‘I’d say it was no more than 50-50.

‘If it doesn’t happen it wasn’t for the want of trying. It’s a good fit.’

McHugh reveals that ‘The Lions approached Guernsey [Rugby Club] via the Wooden Spoon Society. Warren had a long-standing relationship with them and they asked us to look into it and we asked government to help and they have been very helpful.’

McHugh added: ‘There are a lot of very complicated factors for him to consider. He has to go back and talk to people at Lions HQ but the fact that he gave up his Easter weekend and time with his family to come and look at this, shows it must be important for him.’

Raiders are keeping their fingers crossed that Lions arrive and the club can stage some form of revenue-boosting event after they lost their RFU funding due to Covid pandemic.

‘It is really key to our financial success going forward into National Two.

‘We need to fund all our away travel next season in National Two and might have to fund teams travelling to us.

‘This is an opportunity to really help our finances.’

Jersey have also been linked strongly with Gatland’s Lions and McHugh acknowledged that the famous touring side might ultimately choose Jersey.

‘He has looked at Jersey, he’s looked at us and he has to make a decision.

‘It could be a combination of both or one or the other. But Jersey have some impressive facilities.’

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