Aviva Stadium to host historic Lions match

Featured image credit: Gabriel Ramos on Unsplash

Featured image credit: Gabriel Ramos on Unsplash

The British & Irish Lions rugby union team will play its first match in Ireland in the summer of 2025 when Dublin’s Aviva Stadium stages a fixture against Argentina.

The game will take place on June 9, 2025, with the winners to lift the Lions 1888 Cup. The game will serve as a warm-up fixture for the Lions’ 2025 Tour of Australia.

Today’s (Thursday’s) announcement comes after the Lions played against Japan at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium ahead of the 2021 Tour of South Africa. That marked only the third time that the Lions had played a ‘home’ fixture.

The 2025 game against Argentina will be the Lions’ fourth match at home and the first time the team has ever played in Ireland. The Lions’ two other home games were both in Cardiff, against Argentina in 2005 and against a Rest of the World XV in 1986.

Tickets for the Aviva Stadium will be available from €40 (£34/$43) and will be released in March 2024.

Ben Calveley, chief executive of the Lions, said: “The opportunity to play in Dublin at Aviva 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.

“British & 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.”

In April, the Lions and Rugby Australia announced the creation of a joint venture company for the 2025 tour. The joint venture model was introduced for the first time during the Lions’ tour of South Africa in 2021 as part of plans to unlock new revenues and reduce “inefficiencies” experienced during prior tours.

The Lions will face Australia in Test matches at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney’s Accor Stadium. Other venues that will be used during the tour will include Perth’s Optus Stadium, Sydney’s Allianz Stadium, Canberra’s GIO Stadium, Adelaide Oval, and Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.