News

February 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

2017 British and Irish Lions Tour Details

As many of you rugby fans probably know by now, the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand has kicked off this weekend, so I thought it would be useful for the teams’ supporters to know all the details of the tour.
The British and Irish Lions rugby team already arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday last week and they will be staying in the country for no less than six months. This is the 12th tour of New Zealand for the British squad and the first visit there since 2005.
The tour will include 10 games –three Test matches against the New Zealand national rugby union team, commonly called the All Blacks, as well as challenges from a selection of the best sides New Zealand has to offer, such as the Maori All Blacks and several outfits from Super Rugby.
The British initial squad for the tour, which was announced on April 19 in London, was made up of 41 players from different part of the Kingdom: 16 players from England, 12 from Wales, 11 from Ireland 11 and two from Scotland. Three of the members of the squad, namely Irish utility back Jared Payne (Tauranga), English midfielder Ben Te’o (Auckland) and English prop Mako Vunipola (Wellington), are New Zealand-born players.
As far as we know, the Tests will all take place in Auckland and Wellington, but the touring party will also pay visits to Whangarei, Hamilton, Rotorua, Christchurch and Dunedin.
The British and Irish Lions will be coached by Warren Gatland and captained by Sam Warburton, both of Welsh origin. They will both be in their respective roles for a second consecutive tour following their successful mission in Australia in 2013.
Gatland will be assisted by Rob Howley (attack coach), Steve Borthwick (forwards coach), Andy Farrell (defence coach), Neil Jenkins (kicking coach), and Graham Rowntree (scrum coach).
The Lions, who only achieved one successful tour over the All Blacks in their history in 1971, are aiming to secure a second successive tour win after the 2-1 win over Australia four years ago. However, we are all aware that’s not an easy task at all, especially considering that they are facing a New Zealand side which is not only the No.1 ranked team in the world but has also won the last two Rugby World Cups, so they certainly are a force to be reckoned with.
Additionally, the All Blacks have played against the Lions a total of 38 games throughout their 129-year history and they have only lost on six occasions, so the Brits and Irishmen will head into the tour as underdogs, but they have a lot of support from their fans so we wish them good luck.
For those interested in exact dates, below is a list of the important events of the tour:
May 29 – Squad depart from Heathrow
May 31 – Lions arrive in Auckland
June 3 – New Zealand Provincial Barbarians v British & Irish Lions in Whangarei – First game of the tour
June 7 – Auckland Blues v British & Irish Lions
June 10 – Crusaders v British & Irish Lions
June 13 – Highlanders v British & Irish Lions
June 17 – Maori All Blacks v British & Irish Lions
June 20 – Chiefs v British & Irish Lions
June 22 – Team for first Test v New Zealand announced
June 24 – British & Irish Lions v New Zealand – 1st Test match
June 27 – Hurricanes v British & Irish Lions
July 1 – British & Irish Lions v New Zealand – 2nd Test Match
July 8 – British & Irish Lions v British & Irish Lions – 3rd Test Match