British & Irish Lions to host first test match on home soil since 2005

21 Oct 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The British & Irish Lions will host their first Test match on home soil since 2005 next year, with the launch of the new Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.

The match will be played against Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium on 26th June 2021, and will see the Lions take on the Brave Blossoms for the very first time. The fixture will also be a curtain raiser for the team’s Tour to South Africa, which will take in a three Test series against the Rugby World Cup champions.

New Lead Partner Vodafone will have the naming rights to the match, and will also offer customers access to tickets and giveaways via its VeryMe loyalty programme.

“One of our objectives is to give Warren and the playing squad as much meaningful preparation as possible before departing on Tour, so we are delighted to have agreed this fixture,” said Ben Calveley, Managing Director of The British & Irish Lions.   

“A Lions Test is one of the most iconic events in world sport, but a huge number of fans from the Home Nations never get the chance to see one live. The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup match will give even more supporters the opportunity to be part of the next chapter in Lions history. 

“It will be an ‘I was there’ moment, against an entertaining and highly-respected opposition.”

Max Taylor, Commercial Director, Vodafone UK said, “We are proud to be part of this incredible rugby moment and to be able to give home fans the opportunity to experience the full force of the Lions on UK soil. The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup promises to be a game to remember and we’re delighted that we can help unite fans and bring them closer to the Lions than ever before.”

The match will be the first time in 16 years that the Lions will have played in the UK or Ireland. In 2005, the team played against Argentina in Cardiff, a game which followed the 1986 match against a Rest of the World XV, which was also held in Cardiff.