The British Lions are set for their latest tour. Taking part in Australia the tour is set to land in top cities such as Melbourne and Sydney. So why not make 2013 a year to remember? Join the Lions for some great rugby and the chance to visit one of the finest regions on the planet.
Reaching Lions squad status is undoubtedly the pinnacle of achievement for any rugby player and making the test team for the 2013 Lions tour would naturally be even better. Thus many hopefuls will be looking to make an impression in the two major ‘shop windows’ of the new season, namely the European competitions and, of course, the six-nations tournament that is set for February and March.
Indeed, head coach Warren Gatland has estimated that after six months of scouting he will be ready to name his official squad for the Lions tour 2013 fixtures by the end of April. No doubt many of the ‘maybes’ and ‘possibles’ will have changed by this time, some through loss of form, others possibly through injury.
However, experts and pundits are predicting that many of the players who went to South Africa in 2009 will be retained for the Lions tour 2013 fixtures. Included here are players such as Jamie Roberts, Tommy Bowe, Adam Jones, Mike Phillips and Brian O’Driscoll, all of whom will be hoping for the nod. In addition, many are certain that both back-row Stephen Ferris and fly-half Jonathan Sexton, both of Ireland, will be certain inclusions. Indeed, many are predicting that the Irish team along with the Welsh, will provide the bulk of the players as the Lions look for their first tour win since 1997.
The last time the Lions toured Australia was back in 2001 in a tour that saw over 25,000 Lions fans join the team down under. This tour was by all accounts nothing less than thrilling and the 2013 is set to be even better with even more fans expected to make the trip.
Also with everything that the Australian region has to offer it is not hard to see why. If you can drag yourself away from the rugby for a day or two unearthing the delights of this beautiful country is a chance not to be missed. From the untold attractions of Sydney, think harbour and opera house, to the spectacular barrier reef and from the glorious Cairns to the wonders of cosmopolitan Melbourne, Australia is only limited by one’s imagination.
The tour kicks off with a match against the Barbarians. An historic game that is set to be held in Hong Kong on Saturday June 1st, the match will mark the beginning of this 125th anniversary tour that includes a further nine matches spanning the whole of Australia. The highlights of these will of course be the three test series matches which are due to be held in Brisbane (Saturday June 22), Melbourne (Saturday June 29) and Sydney (Saturday July 6) respectively.
The tests will be bridged by six further tour matches which include the opener against Western Force on Wednesday June 5th at Patersons Stadium, the match v Queensland Reds at Sunscorp Stadium (Sat June 8), a combined NSW/Queensland team will meet the Lions at the Hunter Stadium (Tue June 11), NSW Waratahs v the Lions will be at Sydney Football Stadium (Sat June 15), the ACT Brumbies entertain the Lions in Canberra (Tue June 18th) and finally the Lions meet the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on Tuesday June 25th.
Simon Bell writes regularly on the subject of sports tours for a wide range of related websites and blogs. He has been patiently waiting for official confirmation of the Lions tour 2013 fixtures since South Africa 2009 and plans to visit http://www.gulliverstravel.co.uk/rugby/british-irish-lions-2013 for some tour package ideas.