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British and Irish Lions statement: 2025 tour starts with Dublin match

By Liam Heagney
The 2021 British and Irish Lions in South Africa (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The British and Irish Lions have confirmed that their 2025 tour to Australia will begin with a pre-departure game versus Argentina in Dublin. It will be the first time they have played the Pumas since a 2005 pre-tour fixture in Cardiff – and it is also the first time they will have ever played in Ireland.

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A statement read: “The British and Irish Lions will face Argentina at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on June 20, 2025, for the Lions 1888 Cup. This will be the first time the British and Irish Lions will play in Ireland and will help prepare the team ahead of the 2025 tour to Australia.

“This fixture follows the successful 1888 Cup match against Japan in Edinburgh ahead of the 2021 Tour of South Africa, with the Lions winning 28-10 on that memorable occasion. The fixture also allows fans to see the Lions in action and send off the squad on a high before they embark on their journey to Australia.

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“The Lions first toured Argentina in 1910 and returned in both 1927 and 1936. The last match between the two sides took place on home soil in 2005 in Cardiff with that fixture ending in a 25-25 draw. Tickets for the fixture will be available from €40 and will be released in March 2024.”

Lions CEO Ben Calveley said: “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 and Irish Lions tours have a rich heritage built over 130 years of touring but alongside our strong history which we are very proud of, we must 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.

“The 1888 Cup match in Dublin will allow even more supporters 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. Finally, I would like to thank the Irish Rugby Football Union and La Union Argentina de Rugby for their support and collaboration in the organising of this fixture.”

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IRFU CEO Kevin Potts added: “The British and Irish Lions is synonymous with rugby heritage, pride and passion and I am delighted that Irish fans will have an opportunity to watch one of rugby’s most popular and iconic teams play for the very first time in Ireland.

“The IRFU is very proud to host this ‘home’ fixture prior to the 2025 tour and it promises to be a momentous celebration for Irish rugby in our 150th anniversary season. A packed Aviva Stadium will provide an ideal launchpad for the Lions before they depart for Australia, allowing many Irish rugby fans to savour the extraordinary experience that is being a Lions supporter, on home soil.

“I would like to thank the board of the British and Irish Lions for awarding Irish rugby with this honour, which will fittingly bookend our 150th-year celebrations.”

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Eabn 6 hours ago
Open-minded Schmidt takes hands-on approach to Australia challenge

Who cares - boring is good when it comes to Media - they don’t bug you as much. While the focus is on the resurrection of the Wallabies, don’t forget the grass roots - Any opportunity you have to visit, train or promote Rugby down here in Melbourne / Regional is pretty much imperative given the current situation with the Rebels. I’m talking about us grass roots clubs and more so, clubs in the West of Melbourne who are being absolutely smashed by Rugby League and who have been contributing directly to the game down here long before the Rebels emerged and no doubt will do so well after they may be gone. All I have heard is all about the elite level, not the grass roots level so while the talk is about “ The Wallabies” and “Super Rugby Pacific” get back to the roots of Union and include us in your plans. So Phil Waugh and those leaders within RugbyAustralia, it’s on you to ensure the bottom feeders, so to speak, are included in all the talk and the funding if you want Union to regain ground and more respect within the Union and also the broader sporting fraternity. Given you have been in Melbourne a number off times over the last month, extending the courtesy of having a meet and greet with Victorian grass root clubs eluded you for some reason. Do we count or matter in RA’s and yours bigger picture?? Ean Drummond - Club Founder/President - Wyndham City Rhinos RUFC Inc. Hoppers Crossing, Melbourne.

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