A combined Fiji, Tonga and Samoa team will reportedly reunite for first time since 2008
The British & Irish Lions will reportedly take on a Pacific Islands XV in a warm-up match before the Test series of the 2025 tour to Australia.
The Times reports the schedule for the tour Down Under is close to being finalised and a combined team made up of players from Fiji, Tonga and Samoa is set to reunite for the first time since they took on England at Twickenham in 2008.
It is part of a move to give the Lions more competitive warm-up fixtures after the 2013 group strolled past a Combined Country XV 64-0.
The touring side are also set to play three Super Rugby franchises in the Brumbies, the Waratahs and the Queensland Reds. A fixture against an Anzac XV is also a possibility – a team which could be made up of a combination of Australia and New Zealand internationals.
The 2025 Lions tour will be the first in eight years to have full crowds after the coronavirus pandemic saw the 2021 Test series in South Africa played behind closed doors.
And officials are said to believe a Pacific Islands XV would be a crowd-pleaser and could help sell plenty of tickets while providing the best of Britain and Ireland with a solid test before they take on Eddie Jones’s Wallabies.
The Pacific Islands took part in a three-Test tour in 2008, losing 39-13 to England at Twickenham in their opening encounter with current Samoa head coach Seilala Mapusua part of the touring side.
England winger Paul Sackey scored two tries while Danny Cipriani added another to help his personal points tally to 19 with Nick Kennedy and Lee Mears the others to cross the whitewash for the home side. The late Seru Rabeni touched down for the visitors.
The following week in November, the Islanders went down 42-17 to France. However, they did not return from Europe winless after a 25-17 victory over Italy at Stadio Giglio with Vilimoni Delasau crossing for two tries.
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