World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot says he intends to turn the British and Irish Lions into a global phenomenon by making the touring side visit North and South America if he is elected the global governing body's new chairman.

The Lions, a squad made up of players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, tour every four years and play against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in rotation.

Pichot, a former scrum-half who is on the campaign trail for an election in which he is up against current chairman Bill Beaumont, said he loves the tradition but hopes to make the Lions tour other continents in future.

"People think I don't like tradition, but I speak to Lions players like Brian O'Driscoll and it's a great product," Pichot told the Daily Mail newspaper.

Agustin Pichot

"I love it, there is still room for the Lions. It is a traditional thing, but we can still add a modern look to it. I would use the Lions on a more worldwide scale, I would like to see that brand travel even further.

"They would be very popular in North and South America but that's a conversation to have with the CEO of the Lions."

The Lions last toured New Zealand in 2017, when they drew the series 1-1 after the third and final test ended in a draw. Their next tour is a three-test series set for July and August 2021 in South Africa.

Lions coach Warren Gatland suggested playing a warm-up match against the All Blacks before their tour of South Africa to generate much-needed revenue when the sport, now halted globally by the coronavirus pandemic, resumes.