A STUDY is to take place to explore the feasibility of a women's British and Irish Lions team.

The project is set to be funded by Royal London after the insurance company was announced as an official partner of the Lions on International Women's Day.

As well as supporting the men's team ahead of their scheduled series against world champions South Africa later this year, the deal sees Royal London become principal partner of the women's Lions programme.

Lions managing director Ben Calveley said: "The feasibility study is an important first step in determining whether a women's Lions could be established and we are very grateful to have Royal London's support and investment.

Royal London chief marketing officer Susie Logan added: "As a modern mutual, we believe in the power of acting in collective interests and that's why it's fantastic that we can use the combined power of the Lions and Royal London to explore whether a Lions women's team could be established.

"Through our partnership we aim to make a positive impact on the continued success of women's rugby."

A Barbarians team was formed in 2017.