The British & Irish Lions will host Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday 26 June 2021 for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.

This will be the first-ever clash between the Lions and Japan and will raise the curtain for the Lions’ Tour to South Africa, which culminates in a three-Test series against the Rugby World Cup Champions in July.

It will also be the first Lions Test match on ‘home’ soil since playing against Argentina in Cardiff in 2005.

Tickets for the fixture go on pre-sale on Tuesday 3 November. Vodafone customers will be able to benefit from access to tickets and giveaways via the VeryMe loyalty programme.

Preparation

“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 Lions Managing Director Brian Calveley

“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.”

The Lions’ lead partner, Vodafone, who announced their partnership earlier in the year, are excited to be supporting the fixture. 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.”

Johannesburg

The Lions’ eight-game tour to South Africa kicks off on Saturday 3 July 2021 when they play Vodacom Super Rugby’s DHL Stormers in Cape Town. Three weeks later the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg will host the first Test – a venue which previously hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final.

The second Test follows on Saturday 31 July at the Cape Town Stadium – the first Lions Test in the Mother City since 1997 – before the British and Irish tourists return to Gauteng for the final Test on Saturday 7 August at Emirates Airline Park, the venue of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

The Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. In that time, the Lions have won four Test series, lost eight with one drawn. Their overall record against the Springboks is played 46, won 17, lost 23 and drawn six.

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