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Japan to play British and Irish Lions on June 26, 2021, in Edinburgh.

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Japan to play British and Irish Lions on June 26, 2021, in Edinburgh. Empty Japan to play British and Irish Lions on June 26, 2021, in Edinburgh.

Post by Rugby Fan on Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:27 am

https://twitter.com/FreemanrugbyJPN/status/1318809592881508353

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12040/12109589/british-irish-lions-to-play-japan-at-murrayfield-in-june

The British and Irish Lions will play Japan for the first time in a one-off Test match at Murrayfield on Saturday June 26.

The sides will play for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup in what will be a warm-up for the Lions' tour of South Africa, which culminates with three Tests against the world champion Springboks.

"One of our objectives is to give Warren (Gatland) 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 and 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."

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:00 am

Gosh.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:04 am

This is a great move. Personally I'd love to see more international teams like samoa georgia etc included instead of the local sides of variable quality.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:10 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:This is a great move. Personally I'd love to see more international teams like samoa georgia etc included instead of the local sides of variable quality.

Wouldn't that be fantastic? It'd be a win for everyone (except provincial players hoping to impress the host nation's coaches). Swap the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls into the midweek games and put Fiji, Georgia and Tonga in as the weekend warm up matches and every match is much more meaningful.

It won't happen this time, but it would be a great way to ensure the touring team has better preparation and more time to gel while giving the Tier 2 sides a meaningful and prestigious games. There's a fair chance the ticket sales and TV rights would be worth more too.
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Post by tigertattie on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:18 am

Will it be regarded as a full test match?

So if Finn Russell plays in the game vs japan and then doesnt play a single minute against the bokkes, will he still have 1 Lions Test cap attributed to his name?
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Post by PhilBB on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:21 am

At last, the Scots get the chance to see some British & Irish Lions quality players.
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Post by MichaelT on Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:23 am

tigertattie wrote:Will it be regarded as a full test match?

So if Finn Russell plays in the game vs japan and then doesnt play a single minute against the bokkes, will he still have 1 Lions Test cap attributed to his name?

The Argentina 2005 game eventually got test match status. I think it put Wilkinson back on top of the overall point scoring charts at the time.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:48 pm

Sounds good.

Eventually I think the Lions has to become a more interntional event if it's going to survive. Keep the tour element, but they have to be integrated in to a bigger picture.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:03 pm

Poorfour wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:This is a great move. Personally I'd love to see more international teams like samoa georgia etc included instead of the local sides of variable quality.

Wouldn't that be fantastic? It'd be a win for everyone (except provincial players hoping to impress the host nation's coaches). Swap the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls into the midweek games and put Fiji, Georgia and Tonga in as the weekend warm up matches and every match is much more meaningful.

It won't happen this time, but it would be a great way to ensure the touring team has better preparation and more time to gel while giving the Tier 2 sides a meaningful and prestigious games. There's a fair chance the ticket sales and TV rights would be worth more too.

Not sure about that. SANZAR enjoys the Lions because of the money it brings in to their country. Demoting the 'country' tour element for the sake of playing Islander teams - who don't make any money, bring no fans etc. - would make less money. It's only more attractive to the Lions fans as 'something different'. I'd also argue tht the Lions players would rather play club sides than a 'warm up' against South Sea Islanders tbj. Injuries etc.

The issue with playing clubs is if Australia repeat what they did in 2013 and send out some amateur teams in the midweek games then it might force a change. Fewer dirt tracker games seems to be the option.

I've said it before but I'll say it again - I think the best option would be for a 4 year tournament to occur akin to the Euros in football or Copa America. The weakened B&I nations can play and it could be a primarily development tour to start with where tier 2 teams play but also have a crack at winning. It could either run before or during the Lions tour and if you can combine them in some way, perhaps in terms of broadcasting, that would be ideal. I cannot see the situation of weakened B&I teams continuining to just play one off tours going on forever. It makes sense for rugby to have some sort of second global competition eventually and the Lions seems like the sensible way of managing it.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:23 pm

“It’s the absolute pinnacle for the players and the fans love it more than any other sporting property in the UK and Ireland. The game understands that it needs to protect these blockbuster events.”

Ben Calveley, Lions managing director.

A tad blinkered.
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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:42 am

Tag on another game to an already congested season in a shameless money grab outside of the international window. Clashes with the Prem final so the chance of English clubs releasing players is slim to none. Well unless there's compensation. Personally I hope they don't as it'll be pretty much the only chance of a rest some get (those not in the Prem final anyway). 

Whilst I'm all in favour of mixing up the teams the Lions face this game really is all about self interest and not what's best for the players or Lions. It's the Unions trying to put money in the bank.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:48 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Tag on another game to an already congested season in a shameless money grab outside of the international window. Clashes with the Prem final so the chance of English clubs releasing players is slim to none. Well unless there's compensation. Personally I hope they don't as it'll be pretty much the only chance of a rest some get (those not in the Prem final anyway). 

Whilst I'm all in favour of mixing up the teams the Lions face this game really is all about self interest and not what's best for the players or Lions. It's the Unions trying to put money in the bank.

Hey means some Scottish players might get a Lions cap

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:45 pm

You can't win, apparently. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The benefits of 1 game outweighs the cost in my view.

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