Lions Tour History
The British and Irish Lions are a talented test side with a history that dates back to the late 19th century. The original squad was largely composed of English, Scottish and Welsh players and the 1910 South Africa tour was the first official tour that represented all four home nations.
The team underwent two major changes for the 1950 New Zealand and Australia tour. It was the first time that squad selection involved choosing players that had previously been capped for their national team. Additionally, it was during this tour that journalists coined the nickname British Lions and gave the squad their trademark name. However, it wasn’t until their 2001 tour that the team were officially known as ‘British & Irish Lions’.
British and Irish Lions Tour Format
Since 1989, the British and Irish Lions have toured every four years. Today, the Lions’ quadrennial tour rotates between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. However, the squad has also faced other nations. This includes three tours to Argentina (1910, 1927 and 1936), as well as tests against countries such as Fiji, Canada and Japan.
The Lions’ most recent tour took place in 2021, when the squad played three tests against South Africa and five games against five top South African sides: former Super Rugby franchises (the Lions, Bulls, Sharks and Stormers) and South Africa A.
The next British and Irish Lions tour will be held in 2025, when the world’s greatest touring team will be heading to Australia.