As the Lions will face a combined, invitational side in 2025, we had a go at picking a XV


When unveiling the British & Irish Lions fixtures for the 2025tour to Australia, it was announced that the tourists would be taking on a combined Australia-New Zealand side in the midst of their nine-game schedule.

It is the first time since 1989 that a trans-Tasman side will take to the pitch since 1989, with the game due to take place at the Adelaide Oval, just a week before the opening Test in Brisbane.

Two years out, Joe Harvey has taken a look at what Invitational Australia-New Zealand XV could look like…

Our Australia-New Zealand XV

15. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) – One of the best to ever do it, seeing Beauden Barrett in full flight is one of the purest joys you can experience and in a invitational team, anything could be possible.

14. Will Jordan (New Zealand) – Always capable of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, Jordan has established himself as rugby’s finest finisher with the All Blacks – being on the biggest stage is where he deserves to be 24/7.

13. Samu Kerevi (Australia) – In an Australia side that is struggling right now, Kerevi has been a bright spark. To see him operating in a back line with the sorts of talent named would be superb.

12. Jordie Barrett (New Zealand) – Announcing himself in Test rugby when the Lions toured New Zealand some six years ago, Barrett now has a half-century of caps to his name and has settled into the midfield with a relative ease and establish himself as one of the All Blacks’ most influential players.

11. Joseph Sua’ali’i (Australia) – Tempted from the NRL with promises of the Wallabies future, and big money, should Sua’ali’i catch fire in rugby union the teenager will be the first name on any team sheet.

10. Richie Mo’unga (New Zealand) – First choice at fly-half over a number of years now, Mo’unga is one of Ian Foster’s key men and has to be in this team.

9. Aaron Smith (New Zealand) – Evergreen, Smith is playing some of the best rugby of his career at 34. It is difficult to see the half-back slowing down any time soon too.

1. James Slipper (Australia) – Co-captain of his country, Slipper has been one of the best loosehead props in the world for several years now. Add to this over 100 Test caps, then there really is no question of the front-row’s involvement.

2. Codie Taylor (New Zealand) – A well-rounded player, there are virtually no parts of Taylor’s game to be brought into question, the hooker one of the most capable operators in the international arena.

3. Allan Alaalatoa (Australia) – At 29, Alaalatoa is in the form of his life right now. Likely to play a huge part in the Wallabies’ campaign against the Lions, it would be a huge shame not to see the Brumbies tighthead in action.

4. Scott Barrett (New Zealand) – Unheralded for some many years as Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock ruled Test rugby, the third Barrett on this list is the world’s form lock right now.

5. Will Skelton (Australia) – A five-time Heineken Champions Cup winner, big things are expected in the Stade Rochelais man’s return to the Wallabies. On his day, unplayable.

6. Sam Cane (New Zealand) – All Blacks skipper and a World Cup winner, Cane would walk into most teams in the world and this one is absolutely no different. World class.

7. Michael Hooper (Australia) – One of the most competitive players to have pulled on a gold jersey, Hooper would bring bags of experience, guile and skill to this combined XV.

8. Ardie Savea (New Zealand) – Completing the side is one of the All Blacks’ talismans. A threat in every facet of the game, it would be a crying shame if one of the sport’s great entertainers did not play in this game.

What do you make of this Australia-New Zealand XV? Let us know via or on our social media channels. 

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