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(Pocket-lint) - Every 4 years, the best of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh teams combine for a special tour as the British & Irish Lions. The history of the Lions runs back to 1888, when the first British & Irish Lions tour went to Australia and New Zealand, playing 35 games during the 249 day long tour.

Things are very different these days, but the Lions still tour, with visits to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa every 4 years. In 2021, the tour heads to South Africa, with a schedule packed full of rubgy. 

Here's the fixtures and where you can watch the British & Irish Lions tour on TV.

When is the British & Irish Lions tour?

The Lions played the first warm-up game on 26 June at Murrayfield in Scotland, before heading to South Africa and facing the Sigma Lions on 3 July.


The last game is scheduled to be played on 7 August.

What teams will the Lions be playing?

Here's a rundown of the fixtures that have been scheduled for the tour:

  • 26 June - British & Irish Lions vs Japan
  • 3 July - Sigma Lions vs British & Irish Lions
  • 7 July - Cell C Sharks vs British & Irish Lions
  • 10 July - Vodacom Bulls vs British & Irish Lions - Postponed
  • 10 July - Cell C Sharks vs British & Irish Lions
  • 14 July - South Africa A vs British & Irish Lions
  • 17 July - DHL Stormers vs British & Irish Lions
  • 24 July - South Africa vs British & Irish Lions
  • 31 July - South Africa vs British & Irish Lions
  • 07 August - South Africa vs British & Irish Lions

The initial match is a warm-up against Japan was played in Scotland, before a series of warm-up games in South Africa.

The big test matches are those commencing on 24 July.

How can I watch the Lions tour on TV and online?

The warm-up game between the Lions and Japan is on Channel 4 in full.

Highlights of the British & Irish Lions tour games are on Channel 4 following the matches, or on All 4 to stream once the highlight show has been broadcast.

Sky Sports has the broadcast rights to the tour games in the UK, while those in the US will be able to watch the games on Peacock.

Sky subscribers with access to Sky Sports will be able to watch on Sky Sports Action, but for those wanting to watch the British & Irish Lions play without a Sky Sports subscription, you'll be able to do so through Now (formerly Now TV).

On now you'll need a Now Sports Membership, which will cost £9.99 for the day, or £33.99 for the month £25 for 3 months to stream on your TV through a supported device.

If you just want to get in the spirit of things, Now has also teamed up with Matt Dawson, Francois Louw and Patrick Williams in a series of BBQ vs Braai challenges, as well as getting into some rugby shenanigans. You can catch up with the fun on Now Sport's social channels, while the recipes are on Now's website.

Writing by Chris Hall.
Sections Sky TV