The Lions will kick-off an intimidating 10-match tour of New Zealand on June 3, 2017, in Whangarei. Can they win their first Series there in 46 years?
The Lions have announced their 10-match fixture list for 2017 tour. Unlike 2013, where they stopped off in Hong Kong for a sponsor-led fixture against the Barbarians, there will be no game en route, this despite the ARU offering up the Wallabies as an opponent and many calls for the Lions party to play a game in the Pacific Islands, especially after the successful visit of the All Blacks to Apia this week.
With a coaching set-up still to be announced, it is one of the first building blocks in a tour, which is considered the toughest of all three. Lions fans will need no reminders about how tough it is to defeat the All Blacks on home soil – they have managed it only once in 1971 when John Dawes captained then to a 2-1 Series win – and on their last visit, under Sir Clive Woodward in 2005, they were destroyed 3-0 by Graham Henry‘s men, barely laying a glove on the All Blacks who were inspired by Dan Carter.
After winning the Series against Australia in 2013, the Lions will start their assault on June 3, 2017 with a game against a Provincial Union XV in Whangarei and finish five weeks later at the 50,000 capacity Eden Park, their third and final game at the venue.
2017 Lions Tour of New Zealand fixtures
June 3 – Provincial Union team (Toll Stadium, Whangarei)
June 7 – Auckland Blues (Eden Park)
June 10 – Crusaders (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)
June 13 – Highlanders (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin)
June 17 – Maori (Rotorua International Stadium)
June 20 – Chiefs (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
June 24 – FIRST TEST v ALL BLACKS (Eden Park)
June 27 – Hurricanes (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)
July 1 – SECOND TEST v ALL BLACKS (Westpac Stadium)
July 8 – THIRD TEST v ALL BLACKS (Eden Park)