ARU hope to lure 2017 B & I Lions to Australia

The Australian Rugby Union have revealed that they are hoping to lure the 2017 British and Irish Lions to Australia for a tour warm up match.

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver is hoping that they will be able to host a match that will help generate funds to cover the lost revenue from next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Australia’s Wallabies will play just two or three matches on home soil in 2015 instead of the normal six or seven matches which drastically reduces income for the ARU.

The Australian Rugby Union normally hosts a three-test series against a Northern Hemisphere opponent in June but due to the world cup next year this will not happen.

In 2009 the British and Irish Lions warmed up for their tour of South Africa with a match against Argentina in Wales and last year the Lions they warmed up in Hong Kong against the Barbarians.

The British and Irish Lions are made up of players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and Pulver wants the tourists to start their tour in Australia.

“That’s one of the conversations we’ve been having with them (Lions officials),” Pulver told the AAP.

“If they want preliminary games outside New Zealand then we would be a wonderful location for them.

“We would take it in a heartbeat.”

Australian Rugby was given a massive financial boost in 2013 when the Lions played nine matches around Australia with many venues being sold out.

The British and Irish Lions won the series by beating Australia’s Wallabies 2-1 in a three test series.

Pulver admitted that a Wallabies vs Lions Test match was unlikely to happen during the Super Rugby season but said that they were looking at other options.

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