Lions confirm tour dates

Action-packed month planned in Australia

Last Updated: 28/11/11 12:23pm

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The British and Irish Lions will play nine games in a month in 2013

The British and Irish Lions will play nine games in a month in 2013

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The British and Irish Lions have confirmed the itinerary for their nine-match tour of Australia in 2013.

The Lions will play Test matches in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as tour games against all five Super Rugby franchise and a combined New South Wales-Queensland country team.

The Lions, who were 2-1 losers on their last visit to Australia in 2001, will kick-off the tour against Western Force in Perth on June 5, before taking on the current Super Rugby champions Queensland Reds in Brisbane three days later.

The New South Wales-Queensland country team provide the opposition in Newcastle on June 12, followed by matches against the NSW Waratahs on June 15 and ACT Brumbies on June 18.

The first Test takes place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on June 22.

The final tour match will be against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on June 25, followed by the second Test at Etihad Stadium three days later.

The tour concludes with the final Test at ANZ Stadium on July 6.

"The Lions tour here in 2001 was an extraordinary event and one which provided significant economic benefit to those cities which hosted major matches," ARU chief John O'Neill said.

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"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."

The Lions will warm up for the tour with an historic clash with the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1.

Lions tour manager Andy Irvine said the announcement of the 2013 tour schedule marked a milestone in the team's history.

"Since 1888 when the Lions embarked on their first ever tour, which happened to be Australia, the famous red shirt has become an aspirational symbol of achievement for players in Britain and Ireland," he said.

"The Lions receive numerous requests to play matches around the world outside of the traditional tour destinations of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

"For 2013 we had the perfect opportunity to play a match in the developing rugby region of Asia, while at the same time break the long journey from Europe to Australia. As has become customary we also wanted 10 matches to maximise the essential pre-Test series build up.

"The last Lions tour to Australia in 2001 heralded the dawn of 'The Red Army' with tens of thousands of English, Irish, Scottish & Welsh tourists and ex-pats wearing the red jersey in support of the Lions.

"We look forward to another challenging tour to one of the world's most beautiful countries."

The British and Irish Lions tour to Australia

Wednesday, June 5: Lions v Western Force, Perth
Saturday, June 8: Lions v Queensland Reds, Brisbane
Wednesday, June 12: Lions v Combined NSW-Queensland Country, Newcastle
Saturday, June 15: Lions v Waratahs, Sydney
Tuesday, June 18: Lions v Brumbies, Canberra
Saturday, June 22: Lions v Australia, Brisbane
Tuesday, June 25: Lions v Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne
Saturday, June 29: Lions v Australia, Melbourne
Saturday, July 6: Lions v Australia, Sydney

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