Being selected to play for the Lions has always been the highest honour a player can achieve.
Every four years Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales put their differences and rivalry behind them and unite for over a month as the Lions try to take down one of the southern hemisphere heavyweights.
Paul O’Connell has come out today, however and stated that he believes the recent influx of cash in rugby in England and France, is going to be the downfall of the Lions.
The global calendar is expected to be redrawn after the 2019 World Cup to bring more uniformity between the hemispheres, which may spell trouble for the British and Irish selection that has been touring since 1888.
“I don’t know how they shorten the domestic season to give the Lions a bit more time together to prepare, but in an era when money makes the world go round, it is still really important to the players. I think the players should be consulted and should have a say in those things,” said O’Connell.
“If you are a businessman, you own a club as a business and see one of your players going off with the Lions and coming back injured, that is tough. And what money comes to them from the Lions?
“If all the decisions in rugby now are going to be made based on money, then there probably is no place left for the Lions. To me, for a player to be picked for the Lions and win for the Lions, that is still the ultimate. But that sort of thinking is coming into it less and less in rugby, so money will decide what happens with the Lions in the future. I hope I’m wrong.”
We hope you’re wrong too Paul.