Lions to play Argentina in Dublin before 2025 Australia tour

Ireland play Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in the 2022 Six Nations
The Aviva Stadium will host the British and Irish Lions' first appearance in Ireland - Getty Images/Ramsey Cardy

The British and Irish Lions will create history ahead of their 2025 tour to Australia when they take on Argentina in a warm-up match in Dublin.

The landmark fixture will be the touring side’s first match in Ireland and will take place at the Aviva Stadium on June 20 with the two teams competing for the Lions 1888 Cup, which marks the first year British teams toured the southern hemisphere.

Ben Calveley, the Lions chief executive, described the fixture in the 51,700-capacity stadium as the “perfect send-off” for the Lions ahead of their three-Test tour Down Under, where they will also take on five Super Rugby franchises as well as an invitational team made up of players from Australia and New Zealand.

“British and 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,” Calveley said.

“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.”

The match against Argentina in Ireland’s capital, which will be shown live on terrestrial television as well as official broadcasters Sky Sports, will mark the first meeting between the two sides in 20 years, with the pair sharing the spoils in a 25-25 draw when they met in Cardiff in 2005.

The Lions first toured Argentina in 1910 and returned to the South American rugby nation in 1927 and 1936.
Calveley said: “British and Irish Lions fans are a core part of what makes a great Lions tour. This fixture in Aviva 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.”

Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host the Lions’ first Test against the Wallabies on Saturday, July 19, before the second Test will be played on Saturday, July 26 at Australia’s largest stadium, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which has a capacity of 100,000. The final Test will be played in front of over 80,000 fans at Sydney’s Accor Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday, Aug 2.