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2017 Lions Tour Dates Announced

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New Zealand RFU have announced the dates for the British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand in 2017.

Eight New Zealand cities will host matches starting with a match against a yet to be arranged NZ provincial union side in Whagarai on Saturday 3rd June 2017.  The tour then takes a steep curve in difficulty levels with a trip to face Super 15 side The Blues at Eden Park.

The tour then takes in further matches against Super XV opposition iagainst the Crusaders and Highlanders in Christchurch and Dunedin, followed by a touch rematch of one of the games of the 2005 tour featuring the NZ Maori in Rotorua.

Next up for the Lions is another tough prospect in facing the Chiefs in Hamilton before the first of three tests against the All Blacks starting at Eden Park in Auckland.  The Lions then move south to Wellington for the final midweek match against current Super 15 finalists the Hurricanes before playing the second test at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Then it’s back to Auckland for the 3rd and final text once again at Eden Park on the 8th of July.

New Zealand RFU Chief Executive Steve Tew commented “The British & Irish Lions Tour is one of those very special events for any rugby fan and we all remember how the 2005 Series captivated this country. The 2017 Series is likely to be one of the most significant sporting events our country has hosted since Rugby World Cup 2011 and perhaps the biggest New Zealand will host for some time.

“The Series will feature matches throughout New Zealand and in addition to 10 All Blacks Tests in 2016 and 2017, there’ll be enormous opportunity for the whole country to not only enjoy quality international rugby, but to also share in the economic benefits that the matches present.

“More than 20,000 Lions supporters travelled to New Zealand in 2005, generating more than $135m in benefits – we’re confident the 2017 Series will exceed these figures.

“Over the last few years New Zealand has shown we can successfully host some of the biggest events in international sport and provide visitors with a unique and welcoming experience.

“The Series in New Zealand will be a huge occasion, featuring the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and providing almost six weeks of incredible rugby with matches against Investec Super Rugby teams, the Maori All Blacks and a Provincial Union XV side.

“As with 2005 we expect demand for tickets to be exceptionally high and we intend to be in a position to confirm ticketing arrangements later this year. Tickets for the Steinlager Series against Wales will go on sale early next year.”

John Feehan, Chief Executive of the British & Irish Lions added “There is a rich history between the Lions and New Zealand which dates back to our very first tour in 1888. That first tour helped establish the template for the Lions and it is exciting that 2017 will see the Lions return to New Zealand as part of the next chapter in this great story.

“The Lions 2017 Series will see the best of the best from our four great rugby nations unite as one to play ten matches in New Zealand, a series that will once again be the highlight of the 2017 global sporting calendar.

“It is with great anticipation that we look forward to renewing our rivalries and more importantly our unique and great friendship with New Zealand.”

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