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Lions To Roar Down Under As Tour Games Confirmed, Including All Blacks Input

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By Paul Jones

The British and Irish Lions are set to play in front of a record crowd of around 100,000 at Melbourne Cricket Ground during their 2025 tour of Australia.

The MCG has been announced as the venue for the Lions’ second Test against Eddie Jones’ Wallabies on Saturday, July 26.

The series will begin a week earlier at the 52,500-capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, with the finale at Sydney’s Accor Stadium, which can hold more than 80,000 fans, on Saturday, August 2.

Two years out from the tour, a nine-match itinerary, beginning on Wednesday, July 2 against Queensland Reds in Brisbane, has been confirmed for the Lions’ first visit to Australia since their 2-1 series success in 2013.

The Lions will have the longest preparation period for a tour in recent history thanks to cooperation from Premiership Rugby and the United Rugby Championship.

Ben Calveley, CEO of the British and Irish Lions, said: “We are delighted to announce the tour schedule as we look ahead to what is to be one of the most eagerly anticipated series in history.”

The Lions’ upcoming tour also includes a warm-up match against a combined Australia and New Zealand side in Adelaide.

They are bidding for their first tour success since beating the Wallabies a decade ago, having lost 2-1 in South Africa two years ago following a tied 2017 series in New Zealand.

Crowds were unable to attend matches against the Springboks in 2021 as the three Tests were played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

Ieuan Evans, chairman of the British and Irish Lions, said: “Lions tours to Australia have always been memorable occasions and the 2025 tour promises to be no different.”

The British and Irish Lions are also exploring the concept of an inaugural Lions Women’s Tour following “positive findings arising from a feasibility study”.

Lions’ 2025 tour: July 2 – Queensland Reds (Brisbane); July 5 – NSW Waratahs (Sydney); July 9 – ACT Brumbies (Canberra); July 12 – ‘Invitational’ Australia and New Zealand team; July 19 – Australia (Brisbane); July 22 – Melbourne Rebels (Melbourne); July 26 – Australia (Melbourne); August 2 – Australia (Sydney).

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