The news that Ireland's tour of Fiji this summer has had to be called off was as predictable as it is sensible.

Up until recently, Fiji and other Pacific Island groups had been spared the worst of the problems caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Cases have soared in recent weeks, however, leaving the two unions little option but to call off the tour.

Then yesterday came the news that cricket’s Indian Premier League has had to be suspended indefinitely as the country’s outbreak worsens by the day.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) was one of the first governing bodies to react: “CSA supports the decision to put the health and safety interests of all involved in the tournament first and foremost and has made contact with all of the relevant franchises to ensure the expedited travel of all South African players and support staff back to our shores.

"Those travelling back to South Africa will undergo home quarantine in line with the current World Health Organisation recommendations. CSA and the South African Cricketers Association are in contact with all players and are assured of their safety and comfort in their respective locations."

I mention the problems with sport in Fiji and India because I believe that there is a real risk to people’s health being caused by the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa which begins next month with a warm-up match at Murrayfield against Japan on June 26. There is still time for the South African Rugby Union and the British and Irish Lions Board to do the sensible thing and postpone the Lions' tour to next year, but as I have explained before there is far too much money at stake for this summer's tour to be called off. Television wants it and what the square-eyed monster wants it usually gets.

With South Africa still the worst affected country in the whole continent, and with its own lethal variant of the virus, it just seems madness to me that players, coaches, other staff and fans are to be asked to risk their lives just for a series of rugby matches, no matter how important.

The official Lions’ website confirms what I know to be the case – it’s not just players who are travelling.

“Thousands of Lions fans have already booked their places,” it states, “check out our ticket-inclusive travel packages to join us on the holiday of a life-time.”

Now compare that to the official Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office advice on its website yesterday: “The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the whole of South Africa based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

At least the official Lions website is offering refunds if people cannot attend matches, but is going on a Lions tour, whether you are a player or fan, really essential as the FCDO states? Of course it’s not, as rugby is not a matter of life and death while Covid-19 is.

Yes, the number of cases and deaths in South Africa is falling but there are just too many questions about the tour – have the Lions been vaccinated and if so, how did they jump the queue? Will they have to enter quarantine like the returning cricketers? It’s all very well to play behind closed doors but what will be the social distancing measures outside each stadium? As I said, the tour seems set to go ahead come what may, and we can only hope that the safety precautions both in South Africa and here in Great Britain and Ireland will be fully effective. Remember all it will take will be one Lion or one Springbok to test positive, say on the eve of the First Test, and the whole game's a bogey and the ba’s burst.

Nevertheless, given that there is a lack of sense around, the membership of the touring squad will be announced tomorrow by head coach Warren Gatland and we have already had weeks of the usual quadrennial game of guess the tourists – and yes I have said my piece recently about who I think should be on the plane to South Africa.

My hopes for six or seven Scots to be in the squad were contingent on a safe tour, however, and I just cannot state hand on heart that I have been convinced by the South African authorities and their union that all is going to be safe and well.

I yield to no one in my admiration of Jason Leonard, and the chairman of the Lions Board is making the case for it to go ahead, but I prefer the stance of England scrum half Ben Youngs who has ruled himself out due to family reasons – his wife is expecting their third child.

Now there’s a man with his priorities right. We should all put family and health first. Lions Board please copy.