Lions announce itinerary for 2009 tour to South Africa

The British & Irish Lions and the South African Rugby Union have agreed on a programme of 10 matches for the 2009 Lions Tour to South Africa.

The much anticipated tour will include three Test matches against the Springboks, with the first Test taking place on Saturday, 20 June 2009 in Durban.

British & Irish Lions Chairman Andy Irvine said on the SA Rugby site: “We are looking forward to touring such a wonderful country and playing the World champions on their own turf.

“The tour itself promises be full of challenges in a country where rugby is a real passion but I am confident that the 2009 Lions will acquit themselves well.

“Lions tours are unique events and as such extremely popular. We are expecting tens of thousands of Lions fans to Travel to South Africa in 2009 and are certain that every one of them will come back with amazing memories.”

SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd MD Jonathan Stones added: “The Lions Tour will be a massive sporting event, on a par with Rugby World Cup and is expected to be a huge success. We are putting in place an exciting programme and look forward to hosting this unique team.

“It is anticipated that South Africa will reap significant economic benefits from this tour.”

The Lions will play matches in seven cities over a period of six weeks, commencing with a game against the Highveld XV in Rustenburg on Saturday, 30 May 2009.

The tour schedule includes six weekend fixtures and four midweek matches. Apart from the three Test matches, there is also an interesting fixture against the Emerging Springboks on 23 June 2009. This match is sandwiched between the first and second Tests.

The Test matches against the Springboks will take place on 20 June in Durban, in Pretoria on 27 June and in Johannesburg on 4 July.

“It is important to note that two high profile matches have been scheduled in Cape Town, which will allow supporters in that region to see the Lions in action at Newlands,” added Stones.

The Lions have toured South Africa on 12 previous occasions, with the first tour to this country taking place in 1891. That historic tour included Test matches at Port Elizabeth, Kimberley and Cape Town.

Since 1891 the Lions have won 16 Tests against the Springboks and lost 21, while seven tests were drawn.


An additional concern for English based players is the five-day gap which under the new agreement Premiership players must take between games.


The Lions’ schedule includes three midweek games in the first three weeks, making the observance of that condition almost impossible.



The itinerary is as follows:

Saturday 30 May 2009 v Highveld XV, Royal Bafokeng, Rustenburg

Wednesday 3 June 2009 v Golden Lions, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Saturday 6 June 2009 v Cheetahs, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein

Wednesday 10 June 2009 v Sharks, ABSA Park, Durban

Saturday 13 June 2009 v Western Province, Newlands, Cape Town

Tuesday/Wednesday 16/17 June 2009 v Coastal XV (TBC), Port Elizabeth

Saturday 20 June 2009 –  British & Irish Lions vs South Africa – 1st Test, Absa Park, Durban


Tuesday 23 June 2009 v Emerging Springboks, Newlands, Cape Town


Saturday 27 June 2009 –  British & Irish Lions vs South Africa  – 2nd Test, Loftus Versfeld,Pretoria


Saturday 4 July 2009 – British & Irish Lions vs South Africa – 3rd Test, Ellis Park, Johannesburg


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