British and Irish Lions

british & irish lions crestThe British and Irish Lions are a rugby team composed of international players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who tour against Southern Hemisphere sides primarily of South African, Australian and New Zealand opposition, though Lions have also toured against Canada, Fiji.

While the ‘British Lions’ moniker was only formally adopted on the 1950 tour of Australia and New Zealand, the name had been used by journalists since the 1924 tour of South Africa, and combined representative teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales first toured in 1888. The British and Irish Lions originally played in a predominantly blue strip, but changed to a red and white strip for the 1950 tour of New Zealand. Irish forward Willie remains the British and Irish Lions’ most-capped player, making 17 Test appearances.

The British and Irish Lions’ most recent tour was of Australia in 2013. The Lions played three Tests against the Wallabies, as well as a number of tour matches. They took on the Barbarians in Hong Kong, each of the five Australian Super Rugby franchises and a ‘combined country’ outfit.

The Lions had a very successful tour, winning the Test series against Australia 2-1, clinching it in the third match at ANZ Stadium in Sydney with a 41-16 victory while only dropping a single tour match against the Brumbies.

The 41-16 victory followed a winning 23-21 start at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, before they lost 16-15 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

Israel Folau of the Wallabies goes up against George North of the Lions.

Following a highly successful 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign as coach Wales, Warren Gatland coached the side on their 2013 tour and will continue in the roll for their 2017 tour of New Zealand.

The 2017 tour of New Zealand will also include a three-match Test series against the All Blacks, with the games to be played on June 24 in Auckland, July 1 in Wellington and July 8 back in Auckland. The Lions, as they did in 2013 will play seven tour games, including one against each of the New Zealand Super Rugby franchises.

The squad for the tour will be named on Wednesday, April 19 at 9pm (AEST) with Sam Warburton set to continue in the role as captain which he held in 2013. There are also reports England captain Dylan Hartley will miss the tour

The last time the British and Irish Lions toured New Zealand was in 2005, with the Kiwis cruising to a 3-0 series victory against a hapless Lions outfit.

Click here for their upcoming matches: 2017 British and Irish Lions: full fixtures

Last updated: 19 April, 2017

British and Irish Lions Articles

Are Lions fans whistling past the graveyard?

Are Lions fans whistling past the graveyard?

by , 23 May 2017

While Lions fans admit their squad is facing a momentous task, they’re quietly – or loudly, depending on the town and country – confident of a series win.

Shoulder injury forces Billy Vunipola out of Lions tour

Shoulder injury forces Billy Vunipola out of Lions tour

by , 22 May 2017

England No.8 Billy Vunipola has withdrawn from the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand with a shoulder injury.

The British and Irish Lions can win in New Zealand – but do they believe it?

The British and Irish Lions can win in New Zealand – but do they believe it?

by , 16 May 2017

“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Owen Farrell is the key to a Lions win

Owen Farrell is the key to a Lions win

by , 15 May 2017

Owen Farrell may not be the best player in the world, but he is close to it.

Let’s bring back the Lions tour

Let’s bring back the Lions tour

by , 8 May 2017

During this past weekend’s representative round, Rugby League International Federation chairman Nigel Wood visited Sydney to hold discussions over the future of the international calendar, the most notable talking point being the return of the Lions in 2019.

Will Kieran Read be right for the Lions tour?

Will Kieran Read be right for the Lions tour?

by , 2 May 2017

All Black skipper Kieran Read has undergone surgery on a fractured thumb and will be pushing it to be fit for the British and Irish Lions series in June.

Do the Lions know how to beat a New Zealand rugby team?

Do the Lions know how to beat a New Zealand rugby team?

by , 26 Apr 2017 Popular article!

It doesn’t happen very often in the modern professional era. The New Zealand All Blacks have only lost one match (against Ireland in Chicago) in fourteen since the 2015 World Cup.

Rugby bosses confirm shorter Lions tours

Rugby bosses confirm shorter Lions tours

by , 26 Apr 2017

The British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand this summer will be the last in its existing six-week format, Premiership Rugby has confirmed.

Touring Lions to be given Waitangi welcome

Touring Lions to be given Waitangi welcome

by , 23 Apr 2017

The British and Irish Lions squad will witness a haka where Maori chiefs first signed New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi.

Gatland’s Lions don’t have the cattle, won’t have the chemistry

Gatland’s Lions don’t have the cattle, won’t have the chemistry

by , 21 Apr 2017 Popular article!

Warren Gatland’s 2017 British and Irish Lions side to tour New Zealand in June has met with virtual universal approval from the often vicious British rugby media.


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