Sunday 22 April 2018

New Zealanders offer to 'adopt a Lion' and accommodate visiting British and Irish fans for free

By Edward Dracott

Rugby is once again living up to its “gentleman’s game” tag.

For many rugby fans, the British and Irish Lions tour represents the pinnacle of the sport.

The all stars of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales travel to New Zealand this year – with mouth-watering encounters against local professional sides and, of course, the All Blacks.

Such a seismic rugby event seems unmissable, but the price of getting to the other side of the world, coupled with sky-high hotel prices, begs to differ – that’s where Adam Gilshnan comes in.

Gilshnan has set up a Facebook event connecting local New Zealanders with travelling Lions fans so that they can accommodate them for free during the tour in June and July.

“This ‘event’ is to see if there are any Kiwis keen to open their doors to ‘adopt’ a Lions fan (or two), and really show them the true hospitality Kiwis are world famous for,” it says on the event’s details. “We are not wanting the hosts to charge for any accommodation, but simply to do some old fashioned billeting, and we are sure you’ll make some friends for life by doing this.”

Adopt a Lions Fan 2017

OPEN YOUR HOME TO A LIONS FAN IN 2017: As we all know, there are expected to be close to 20,000 British and Irish Lions fans heading to NZ this year for the much anticipated tour, and it’s going to be huge!

So far there have been over 250 posts on the page offering or requesting accommodation and the event has over 500 attendees.

With around 20,000 Lions fans thought to be heading to New Zealand for the tour, the group has a long way to go before they’ve paired a Kiwi with every Lion. However, with some prices in Wellington upwards of 1,000 New Zealand dollars (£564) per night during the tour – the interest in free accommodation can only go up.

The offer is truly testament to Kiwis’ warm-hearted nature. However, if the Lions beat the All Blacks this summer, spare a thought for the awkward Brit or Irishman having dinner with a very disgruntled New Zealander…

Press Association

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