Lions confirm Australian tour schedule
November 28, 2011
Former Wallabies skipper Nick Farr-Jones announces the Lions' schedule © Getty Images
The British & Irish Lions' tour of Australia in June and July of 2013 has been confirmed, with three Test matches against the Wallabies scheduled to be played during their ten-match trip.
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) confirmed the schedule on Monday, with Melbourne to host two matches - including one of the Tests - when the Lions make their long-awaited return Down Under. The Lions visit Australia once every 12 years, and will reignite a rivalry that exploded in 2001 when the Wallabies won a thrilling series by two Tests to one.
The Lions' tour will start with a match against Super Rugby side the Western Force in Perth on Wednesday, June 5, and ends with the Third Test in Sydney on Saturday, July 6. The team will also spend a week in Melbourne, playing Super Rugby newcomers Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday, June 25 at AAMI Park, before facing the Wallabies in the Second Test at Etihad Stadium - the same venue for the corresponding Test back in 2001.
"The Lions tour here in 2001 was an extraordinary event and one which provided significant economic benefit to those cities which hosted major matches," said ARU managing director and CEO John O'Neill. "More than 8000 Lions supporters came to Australia from the UK and Ireland on official tour packages and many more thousands made their own way here.
"Four years ago in South Africa there were said to be 40,000 Lions fans that made the trek there to support their team. A Lions Tour is a massive occasion. Behind the Rugby World Cup it is the most engaging, high-profile and popular event our game can showcase. It is not just about the three Tests. It is about the hype and momentum a tour of six weeks develops."
Before arriving in Australia for their nine-match Tour, the Lions will kick off their campaign with a match in Hong Kong against the Barbarians on Saturday, June 1.
British & Irish Lions Tour Schedule:
Saturday, June 1 v Barbarians (Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong)
Wednesday, June 5 v Western Force (nib Stadium/Patersons Stadium*, Perth)
Saturday, June 8 v Queensland Reds (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane)
Wednesday, June 12 v Combined NSW-Qld Country (Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle)
Saturday, June 15 v NSW Waratahs (Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney)
Tuesday, June 18 v Brumbies (Canberra Stadium, Canberra)
Saturday, June 22 v Wallabies (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane)
Tuesday, June 25 v Melbourne Rebels (AAMI Park, Melbourne)
Saturday, June 29 v Wallabies (Etihad Stadium, Melbourne)
Saturday, July 6 v Wallabies (ANZ Stadium, Sydney)
*Depending on ticket demand
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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