Following their 2-1 series loss to South Africa in 2019, the British and Irish Lions are set to face a combined New Zealand and Australia invitational XV in their nine-match 2025 tour.
The ground-breaking match in Adelaide precedes the Lions’ Test matches against the Wallabies in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. An expected full house at the 100,000-seater Melbourne Cricket Ground could set a new attendance record for a Lions Test match.
The series’ final game will take place at Sydney’s Olympic Park, with over 80,000 spectators expected.
Lions’ CEO, Ben Calveley, expressed his excitement about the upcoming tour, “We are thrilled to share the schedule for the tour, which is shaping up to be one of the most eagerly anticipated series ever.”
Complete schedule for the 2025 Lions tour:
Saturday 28 June: vs Western Force at Optus Stadium, Perth
Wednesday 2 July: vs Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 5 July: vs New South Wales Waratahs at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Wednesday 9 July: vs ACT Brumbies at GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday 12 July: vs Invitational Australia & NZ XV at Adelaide Oval
Saturday 19 July: First Test at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Tuesday 22 July: vs Melbourne Rebels at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday 26 July: Second Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground
Saturday 2 August: Third Test at Accor Stadium, Sydney
In past tours, the Premiership final took place just a week before the Lions’ first match, affecting their preparation time. Calveley thanked Premiership Rugby and the United Rugby Championship for allowing the longest preparation period in recent memory, greatly enhancing their chances of a series win.
Phil Waugh, the former Wallaby flanker now working with Rugby Australia, hailed a Lions tour as “one of the greatest sporting festivals”. He added, “Rugby Australia is eager to welcome back the Lions after 12 years and the tens of thousands of Lions fans from the northern hemisphere. We have an exciting line-up of matches across the country, including matches against our Super Rugby franchises, three massive Test matches, and a unique match in Adelaide featuring a combined invitational Australia-New Zealand team.”
Ieuan Evans, the chairman of The British & Irish Lions, said, “Lions tours are unparalleled in sport, in terms of the sheer challenge they pose and the cultural impact they make. Past Lions tours to Australia have been memorable, and we expect nothing less from the 2025 tour.”
The Lions have visited Australia thrice before, winning the series in 1989 and 2013, and succumbing to the then-world champion Wallabies in 2001. In 2019, Warren Gatland’s team lost 2-1 to South Africa in matches played in empty stadiums due to the Covid pandemic.
Ireland’s head coach, Andy Farrell, who has been part of the Lions’ coaching team in 2013 and 2017, is widely tipped to succeed Gatland as Lions’ head coach.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about British & Irish Lions 2025 Tour
When will the British and Irish Lions start their 2025 tour?
The British and Irish Lions will kick off their 2025 tour with a match against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday, June 28.
Who will the British and Irish Lions be playing against in their 2025 tour?
They will play against a combined New Zealand and Australia invitational XV and several Super Rugby franchises. The tour will culminate in three Test matches against the Wallabies.
Where will the British and Irish Lions play their Test matches in 2025?
The British and Irish Lions will play their Test matches in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.
What is unique about the preparation for the 2025 Lions tour?
For the first time, the Lions, Premiership Rugby, and the United Rugby Championship have agreed on a two-week preparation period before the tour opener. In previous tours, the preparation period was only a week.
Who is expected to be the head coach of the British and Irish Lions for the 2025 tour?
Ireland’s head coach, Andy Farrell, who was part of the Lions’ coaching team in 2013 and 2017, is widely expected to succeed Warren Gatland as Lions head coach.
Have the British and Irish Lions won on their previous tours to Australia?
The Lions have toured Australia on three previous occasions, winning the series in 1989 and 2013 and losing to the then-world champion Wallabies in 2001.