Some 50,000 people from the UK will take holidays to South Africa next year in order to follow rugby team the Lions, it has emerged.

Some 50,000 people from the UK will take holidays to South Africa next year in order to follow rugby team the Lions, it has emerged.

The British and Irish Lions, a rugby union side that comprises the best players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, will land in the country in June 2009 for the three Test series against the Springboks and it seems their fans are determined to follow.

Gerald Davies, the manager of the Lions, said he is pleased that the fans are getting involved and showing their support for the side by voting with their feet.

“The supporters are all part of the team and we want them to feel they have a role to play. They are as big ambassadors for British and Irish rugby as are the team,” he remarked.

Around 8,000 fans will travel as part of ticket and travel packages, while the rest are expected to book flights to South Africa through independent operators.

The number of travelling fans is a staggering 20,000 more than the number that travelled to New Zealand for the last tour in 2005.

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