The British and Irish Lions say a feasibility study into an inaugural women’s tour has been positive.
The study looked at a range of aspects, including rugby, brand, commercial, financial, spectator, logistical and scheduling considerations.
The Lions will continue to look at the potential structure and timing of a tour before making any final decision.
“It is extremely positive that a women’s tour is possible in the future,” said Lions CEO Ben Calveley.
“While there is much to be considered, we are committed to taking the findings of this feasibility study and working closely with our unions, as well as other stakeholders in the coming months.
“I would like to thank World Rugby and our four unions from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales for their ongoing support.
“There has been a strong level of collaboration since the beginning of this process, and we are all united behind exploring this project fully.”
Former England international Shaunagh Brown and Ireland’s Niamh Briggs were included in the 13-member panel, chaired by former Lions and Wales wing Ieuan Evans.
“We are really encouraged by the initial findings of this feasibility study,” said Evans.
“We know there is significant support for the concept of creating a Lions women’s team, and this is an important step along the way to exploring how that can be made a reality.
“Great progress has been made to this point, and a lot of work remains to be done.”
Brown said the potential of a first women’s tour is “limitless”.
“Why wouldn’t we want a Lions tour for women?” she told PA Media. “In the men’s game it is the ultimate honour.
“For me, as an elite athlete, you always want more. We have been given this massive green light and there is something to aim for.
“All of the home unions have professional playing contracts, to an extent. What they look like is a different question, but it is the start.
“Every project has to start somewhere. If and when a Lions women’s tour happens, all players have strong potential of being professional. We will be a force to be reckoned with.”
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