Adelaide will play host to one of the world’s most famous sports teams, when the British & Irish Lions rugby team arrive for their once-every-12-year tour of Australia in 2025, giving another boost to the state’s visitor economy.
In a significant coup, the Malinauskas government has secured the most crucial game of the tour the week before the first Test and will bring the Australian and New Zealand players together in the same team for the second time in history.
Played at the Adelaide Oval, this will be an all-star matchup between the Lions and an invited team of players from Australia and New Zealand on Saturday 12 July 2025 in what is shaping up to be the unofficial “Fourth Test”.
Securing a British & Irish Lions match in Adelaide will create an economic boost for South Australia. The last Australian tour of the British and Irish Lions in 2013 saw an estimated 30-40,000 British and Irish supporters come to Australia for the tour, generating an estimated $150 million for the Australian economy.
The historic visit will be the first to Adelaide by British and Irish Lions in nearly 140 years. They first visited Adelaide on their first tour of Australia in 1888 when they defeated the Port Adelaide Football Club in an Australian Rules game and crushed an Adelaide XV 28-3 in rugby union.
A crowd of 54,000 is expected at the Adelaide Oval, the same venue where the Lions played in 1888.
Adelaide has since been left off the tour itinerary and it has taken over 12 months for the Malinauskas Government to promote SA’s case against the Lions and Rugby Australia to mark this game which is expected to attract tens of thousands. of visitors to SA. from abroad and interstate.
The best players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are selected to play for the British and Irish Lions.
They tour Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in rotation every four years and never play a home series in the UK or Ireland.
After this tour, the next chance to see the Lions in Australia won’t come until 2037.
The Lions have an enthusiastic traveling fan base and the historic combined Australia and New Zealand invitational team promises to draw fans from the interstate and across Tasman.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, short-term visitor arrivals from the UK increased from 48,300 in May 2013 to 81,400 in June 2013, an increase of over 68% which they attributed to the British Lions rugby tour and irish.
We are focused on important events that make a significant contribution to the economy of our visitors for a reasonable outlay.
Attributed to Katrine Hildyard
The Lions’ visit to Adelaide will be momentous for rugby in South Australia and for our wider community.
To have Adelaide as the host city for the Lions, and to welcome the combined team of Australia and New Zealand, is incredibly exciting for our community, for our economy and for all the boys and girls playing rugby who will be inspired by some of the The best players in the world.
We can’t wait to welcome thousands of Lions fans traveling to SA to watch their team at our iconic Adelaide Oval take on the Australia-New Zealand Invitational XV.
As well as enjoying Rugby, thousands of fans will also be able to enjoy all that South Australia has to offer.
This is such an exciting announcement. Thanks to Leon Bignell and everyone who has worked so hard for SA to put on another world class sporting event.
Attributed to Leon Bignell
Like so many South Australians, I had never heard of the British and Irish Lions. That all changed in 2013 when, as Minister for Tourism and Sport, I accepted an invitation from Rugby Australia to attend a Lions vs Wallabies test in Brisbane.
I hadn’t seen a sporting event take over a city like that since the 1980s Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.
it was phenomenal. This red army of more than 20,000 Lions fans and as many Wallabies supporters walked to the game in unison. The atmosphere inside the stadium was matched by the tone and passion off the pitch with well-behaved fans having the best weekend of their lives. You could hear the cash registers ringing and the economy growing.
That evening I spoke to the Chairman of the Lions and Rugby Australia about including Adelaide on the 2025 tour. Last year, as Chairman of the Major Events Attraction Committee, I had lunch with the Lions CEO and Chairman in London and I went back to the UK last week to discuss with the Lions how to attract as many of their fans as possible to the Adelaide game. .
Over the past year, Premier Malinauskas has been relentless in his discussions with Rugby Australia and convinced them that Adelaide is the perfect place to showcase rugby and an amazing place for fans around the world to sample some of the best food and wine while they are here.
There is not a Lions fan alive who has seen their team play in Adelaide. That, plus our many draw cards in SA, make our state the perfect place to visit for the game against the Aussies and New Zealanders in 2025.
Attributed to Rugby Australia CEO Phil Waugh
The British & Irish Lions Tour is one of the great sporting festivals, it is a real milestone in Australian and world sport.
Rugby Australia looks forward to welcoming the Lions for the first time in 12 years, as well as the tens of thousands of Lions fans from the northern hemisphere.
It’s an exciting gathering of matches across the country with the Lions taking on our Super Rugby franchises, three massive test matches and a marquee match in Adelaide with a combined Australian and New Zealand guest team.