For 125 years the British and Irish Lions rugby team has travelled the globe playing against the world’s elite rugby teams. In 2013 the Lions will tour Australia to play our best teams and battle the Qantas Wallabies for the Tom Richards Trophy.
The British and Irish Lions will play nine matches in six cities during their six week tour of Australia, including three Test matches and games against all five Australian Super 15 Rugby teams.
The three Test matches in 2013 against the Qantas Wallabies will take place in Brisbane (22 June), Melbourne (29 June) and the series decider in Sydney (6 July), with the tour also featuring games in Perth, Canberra and Newcastle (combined NSW and Queensland Country XV) on 12 June.
The British and Irish Lions are an elite selection of the finest players from the Four Home Unions – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Lions tour only every four years on a rotational format to Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, visiting Australia only once every 12 years.
Unlike any other major sporting brand in the world, the Lions never play on home soil. They are assembled only for offshore tours, so fans follow the Lions to the Southern Hemisphere in droves every four years to watch them play.
Combined British and Irish teams have been visiting the southern hemisphere since 1888, but the first official tour by the British Isles Rugby Union Team was to South Africa in 1910.
The Tom Richards Trophy will be awarded to the winner of the 2013 series between the Qantas Wallabies and the Lions. The trophy has been competed for on just one previous occasion, commissioned for the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia, with the Wallabies the inaugural winners.
The man the trophy was named after, Tom Richards, remains the only player in history to have represented both the Wallabies and Lions.
It is estimated that the 2013 tour will attract more fans than ever before. In 2001 more than 25,000 Lions fans travelled to Australia to witness the spectacle firsthand. Fans can book official supporter tours for the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour at www.lionstour.com, with the option to choose from more than 80 itineraries or create a custom itinerary online.