Gatland: ‘We have to make sure we adhere to the protocols’ (Image: Getty Images)

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Warren Gatland has told his Lions to avoid a repeat of football’s Anglo-Scottish Covid cock-up by not hugging.

Gatland has brought players from the four home nations together in Jersey to prepare for the eight-match trip to South Africa.

With fans already barred from following the tour and strict protocols in place in the host country, where infections have been rising, there is no room for error.

Having seen the disruption caused by Scotland star Billy Gilmour testing positive and England duo Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell having to self-isolate, Gatland admitted: “We are very aware what is at stake.

“The players that have had a couple of campaigns in the autumn and Six Nations – they were pretty good in terms of staying Covid free.

England's Mason Mount battles for the ball with Scotland's Billy Gilmour during the 'Battle of Britain'
(Image: PA)

“So we have to make sure we adhere to the protocols. And second, that there is no hugging.”