One of the biggest sporting event of its kind, British and Irish Lions rugby team will be touring New Zealand in summer of 2017. Its an historic test series when a British & Irish Lions team comprised of players from all four home nations of UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) travel to one of the three countries (Australia, New Zealand or South Africa) every four years for a 3 match test series. British & Irish lions last toured Australia in 2013 and it was one of the most watched Rugby event only behind Rugby Union World Cup.
2017 Lions Tour Schedule:
So the next tour will be in summer 2017 in New Zealand where Lions will play three tests against All Blacks while 7 other tour games are also arranged against local teams in New Zealand. Below is the entire schedule of the tour.
|1||vs Provincial Union XV||3 June||Whangarei|
|2||vs The Blues||7 June||Auckland|
|3||vs BNZ Crusaders||10 June||Christchurch|
|4||vs Pulse Energy Highlanders||13 June||Dunedin|
|5||vs Māori All Blacks||17 June||Rotorua|
|6||vs Gallagher Chiefs||20 June||Hamilton|
|7||vs New Zealand (1st Test)||24 June||Eden Park, Auckland|
|8||vs Wellington Hurricanes||27 June||Wellington|
|9||vs New Zealand (2nd Test)||01 July||Wellington|
|10||vs New Zealand (3rd Test)||08 July||Eden Park, Auckland|
British & Irish Lions Squad Announcement:
The head coach is usually announced 1 year ahead of the tour and he plays a big role and squad selection. The Lions provisional squad of 37 players is usually announced 45 days ahead of the tour dates.
Warren Gatland is the front runner to take head coach job but the announcement will be made after the summer 2016 once all home nations has completed their tours. Gatland was also in charge of 2013 tour to Australia when Lions finally won the series first time since 1997.
2017 Lions tour to New Zealand Broadcasting Rights: SkySports NZL has the broadcasting rights in New Zealand. SKySports in United Kingdom. FoxSports is likely to retain lions tour rights in Australia. SkyItalia in Italy, Canal+ in France. Setanta sports to have coverage rights in Asia, Canada and Pacific countries.