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NEWS: The British & Irish Lions will face Argentina in 2025 for the Lions 1888 Cup in Dublin.

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This will be the first time The British & Irish Lions will play in Ireland and will help prepare the team ahead of the 2025 Tour to Australia.

This fixture follows the successful 1888 Cup match against Japan in Edinburgh ahead of the 2021 Tour of South Africa, with the Lions winning 28-10 on that memorable occasion.

The fixture also gives fans the opportunity to see the Lions in action and send off the squad on a high before they embark on their journey to Australia.

The Lions first toured Argentina in 1910 and returned in both 1927 and 1936. The last match between the two sides took place on home soil in 2005 in Cardiff with that fixture ending in a 25-25 draw.

The British & Irish Lions will begin the 2025 Tour of Australia in Perth against the Western Force on June 28, 2025 before facing fellow Australian Super Rugby Pacific sides, the Queensland Reds, the NSW Waratahs, and the Brumbies.

The Lions will continue their preparation for the first Test by facing an invitational Australian and New Zealand side in a clash at the Adelaide Oval on July 12 2025.

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Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host the first Test against Australia on Saturday, July 19. Following this, a midweek fixture against Melbourne Rebels will take place at Marvel Stadium on Tuesday, July 22. The second Test will be played on Saturday, July 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which has a capacity of 100,000. The final Test will be played in front of over 80,000 fans in Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday, August 2.

Ben Calveley, CEO of The British & Irish Lions, commented, “Excitement is building as we continue the countdown to the 2025 Tour to Australia and we are delighted to confirm details of this fixture which is a key part of the overall Tour.

“The opportunity to play in Dublin at [Lansdowne Road Stadium] in front of over 50,000 Lions fans will make for a great occasion and the perfect send-off.”

“British & Irish Lions Tours have a rich heritage built over 130 years of touring but alongside our strong history which we are very proud of, it is important that we look for ways in which to evolve our Tours. This pre-Tour fixture is one such example of this and builds on the success of the pre-Tour fixture against Japan at Murrayfield in 2021 which was a resounding success.”

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“British & Irish Lions fans are a core part of what makes a great Lions Tour. This fixture in [Lansdowne Road Stadium] gives fans who may not be travelling to Australia the opportunity to see the Lions in action which is really important to us.”

“The 1888 Cup match in Dublin will give even more supporters the opportunity to be part of the Lions exciting journey and we look forward to witnessing a Sea of Red in Dublin before we depart for Australia.”

“Finally, I would like to thank The Irish Rugby Football Union and La Unión Argentina de Rugby for their support and collaboration in the organising of this fixture”.

Ieuan Evans, Chairman of The British & Irish Lions, added: “This fixture is set to be an amazing occasion as well as an important part of our preparation ahead of the 2025 Tour, as we bid to claim our first Lions Series win since 2013. It’s hugely exciting for the players selected on the Tour to play a Lions fixture in [Lansdowne Road Stadium] and I’m sure it is something they will all relish.

“[Lansdowne Road Stadium] is one the most iconic venues in World Rugby and has been the scene of some of the greatest moments in rugby over the years. What’s more, Dublin is an amazing sporting city, and many rugby and sporting fans will have enjoyed the camaraderie and the warm welcome over the years. It is a wonderful destination for Lions fans and a brilliant setting for our pre-tour fixture.”

IRFU Chief Executive Kevin Potts added: “The British & Irish Lions is synonymous with rugby heritage, pride and passion and I am delighted that Irish fans will have an opportunity to watch one of rugby’s most popular and iconic teams play for the very first time in Ireland. The IRFU is very proud to host this “Home” fixture prior to the 2025 Tour, and it promises to be a momentous celebration for Irish rugby in our 150th Anniversary season. A packed [Lansdowne Road Stadium] will provide an ideal launchpad for the Lions before they depart for Australia, giving many Irish rugby fans the opportunity to savour the extraordinary experience that is being a Lions supporter, on home soil. I would like to thank the Board of The British & Irish Lions for awarding Irish rugby with this honour, which will fittingly bookend our 150th year celebrations.”

IRFU President Greg Barrett said: “On behalf of the IRFU I would like to express my delight that [Lansdowne Road Stadium] will play host to this historic pre-tour match between The British & Irish Lions and Argentina. The Lions is an historic rugby brand, and this game will be a fitting finale to the IRFU’s 150th Anniversary year celebrations which will take place throughout the 2024/25 season. It promises to be a memorable occasion and we are all incredibly excited to host The British & Irish Lions for the very first time. In Ireland, we pride ourselves on the strength of our warm welcome, and I have no doubt that fans across the island of Ireland and beyond will get behind the Lions and enjoy this incredible sporting spectacle.”

Gabriel Travaglini, President of La Unión Argentina de Rugby, said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be able to play The British & Irish Lions again. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for our players, and it is a great opportunity to play against a team with such prestige and history. It will undoubtedly be a very important challenge for our Pumas.”

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