British & Irish Lions reach player availability agreement with Premiership Rugby and URC for 2025 Australia tour
The British & Irish Lions rugby team has announced a strategic partnership with England’s Premiership Rugby competition and the United Rugby Championship (URC) in Europe for the upcoming Lions tour of Australia in 2025.
This partnership aims to elevate the tour experience, with the Lions working closely with Premiership Rugby and URC clubs. It encompasses various aspects such as the availability of all selected touring players for pre-tour activities and a collaborative approach to digital content, events and key announcements.
The agreement hands control to the Lions over marketing activities involving touring players, a departure from previous tours. This move addresses challenges faced before the 2021 tour to South Africa when some players missed a warm-up match against Japan due to domestic club commitments.
Scheduled to take place between late-June and early-August, the 2025 Lions tour of Australia will feature three Test fixtures in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The Lions’ last visit to Australia in 2013 resulted in a memorable series victory.
The strategic partnership coincides with Sky’s renewal of its long-standing relationship with the Lions, ensuring live coverage of the 2025 tour. Sky has been broadcasting every Lions tour live in the UK since 1997, including the team’s series victory in South Africa two years ago.
Earlier in October, the Lions also announced IMG as their worldwide licensing agency until 2027, reinforcing their global brand presence.
“It is crucial that this agreement benefits not just the British and Irish Lions but also Premiership Rugby and the URC,” British & Irish Lions CEO Ben Calveley said.
“Our ambition is to make 2025 the greatest Lions tour ever and we believe the opportunities for collaboration across marketing, promotional and wider activity will add significant value to all organisations.”
Simon Massie-Taylor, CEO of Premiership Rugby, stated:
“Everyone at Premiership Rugby understands how crucial it is to work closely with all stakeholders for the game to continue to thrive and grow. And giving our players and the British and Irish Lions the best possible preparation time in history is vital for both the Lions and Premiership Rugby as we support each other on and off the pitch.
“As a league, we are also looking forward to combining with the Lions to create some new and exciting content to promote the tour, our players, and clubs.”