2 Mar 2017

Lions ready for shake, rattle and roll and in NZ

4:14 pm on 2 March 2017

The preparations for the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand include contingency plans for an earthquake, according to the Daily Telegraph newpaper.

Numerous 'what if' scenarios have been planned for - including backup stadiums should the Test venues be damaged by a quake during the 10-match tour in June and July.

The Lions have already switched hotels in Wellington from their original choice because of safety concerns should an earthquake strike.

Rob Howley, Andy Farrell, Warren Gatland and Steve Borthwick are the Lions coaching staff.

Rob Howley, Andy Farrell, Warren Gatland and Steve Borthwick are the Lions coaching staff. Photo: Supplied/Lions.com

The revelations come just a day after New Zealand was hit by its latest earthquake, in Canterbury, near Christchurch, the city that will host the third tour match between the Lions and the Crusaders on June 10.

There have been 19 'large' earthquakes, that is above 6.0 magnitude, recorded since Christchurch was devastated in February 2011 by quake which killed 185 people.

The Lions have consulted with the New Zealand Rugby Union, the police and local authorities as part of the planning, and undertook a 'dry run' of the complete tour during a logistics trip in January.

"We look at every issue or problem that may arise and have a plan," said John Feehan, the Lions chief executive. "The obvious issue is an earthquake and that is something we have to factor in.

"You have to look at all of the options, basically. So, for instance, if there was a significant earthquake in the Test venue on the day of the game - what do you do? Maybe you have to delay the game and move it 50 miles down the road.

"It is just a fact of life in an earthquake zone. If there is another bad earthquake in Christchurch, we could move to a different venue. It is an act of God so there is nothing you can do about it, but you have to have some sort of plan.

"We had to move from where we thought we were going to stay in Wellington because we were not happy that the original venue would have been safe enough.

"It would have been safe enough by the time we got there - but that is in the absence of another earthquake. We have moved to a venue where we know the building has been built with earthquakes in mind."