English Premiership rugby has confirmed the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in June and July will be the last in its existing six-week format.

Mark McCafferty, chief executive of the umbrella organisation for the 12 English clubs, has echoed the stance of RFU counterpart Ian Ritchie that the tours must be shortened as part of the new global season that comes into effect in 2020.

Former Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll is among a chorus of voices who have demanded that tours are retained in their current six-week, 10-match guise, but McCafferty disagrees.

He says to go through through this kind of program in the future is not feasible.


"We have not been happy with the intensity of the Lions schedule which does need to change but it is up to them how many matches they want to play," said McCafferty told the Telegraph.

Meanwhile it's understood that Premiership Rugby are considering a Ryder Cup-style global club competition between northern and southern hemispheres, while South African Currie Cup teams could be invited to join the Anglo-Welsh Cup.