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British and Irish Lions announce first match ahead of 2025 tour

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Thursday Dec 7, 2023

The 2025 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia will kick off in Ireland as the combined home nations take on Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

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Ireland’s home ground will play host to some of the greatest players in the world as the eyes of the Great Britain and Ireland rugby community zoom in, in anticipation of what is hoped to be their first tour victory since 2013. This match will take place on the 20th of June 2025, and will likely be their only match on home soil before heading off to Australia for their test warm-up matches.

Ben Calveley, CEO of The British & Irish Lions, said of the fixture announcement: “Excitement is building as we continue the countdown to the 2025 Tour to Australia and we are delighted to confirm details of this fixture which is a key part of the overall Tour.

“The opportunity to play in Dublin at Aviva Stadium in front of over 50,000 Lions fans will make for a great occasion and the perfect send-off.

“British & Irish Lions Tours have a rich heritage built over 130 years of touring but alongside our strong history which we are very proud of, it is important that we look for ways in which to evolve our Tours. This pre-Tour fixture is one such example of this and builds on the success of the pre-Tour fixture against Japan at Murrayfield in 2021 which was a resounding success.

“British & Irish Lions fans are a core part of what makes a great Lions Tour. This fixture in Aviva Stadium gives fans who may not be travelling to Australia the opportunity to see the Lions in action which is really important to us.

“The 1888 Cup match in Dublin will give even more supporters the opportunity to be part of the Lions exciting journey and we look forward to witnessing a Sea of Red in Dublin before we depart for Australia.

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“Finally, I would like to thank The Irish Rugby Football Union and La Unión Argentina de Rugby for their support and collaboration in the organising of this fixture”.

Ieuan Evans, Chairman of The British & Irish Lions, added: “This fixture is set to be an amazing occasion as well as an important part of our preparation ahead of the 2025 Tour, as we bid to claim our first Lions Series win since 2013. It’s hugely exciting for the players selected on the Tour to play a Lions fixture in Aviva Stadium and I’m sure it is something they will all relish.

Aviva Stadium is one the most iconic venues in World Rugby and has been the scene of some of the greatest moments in rugby over the years. What’s more, Dublin is an amazing sporting city, and many rugby and sporting fans will have enjoyed the camaraderie and the warm welcome over the years. It is a wonderful destination for Lions fans and a brilliant setting for our pre-Tour fixture.”

2025 Lions Tour to Australia (kick off times TBC)

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20 June, Lions vs Argentina, Dublin (Aviva Stadium)
28 June, Lions vs Western Force, Perth (Optus Stadium)
2 July, Lions vs Queensland Reds, Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium)
5 July, Lions vs NSW Waratahs, Sydney (Allianz Stadium)
9 July, Lions vs ACT Brumbies, Canberra (GIO Stadium)
12 July, Lions vs Invitational AU & NZ, Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
19 July, 1st Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium)
22 July, Lions vs Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne (Marvel Stadium)
26 July, 2nd Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Melbourne (Melbourne Cricket Ground/MCG)
2 Aug, 3rd Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Sydney (Accor Stadium)

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