Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be bringing you details of the Lions Tour itinerary, the cities they’ll visit on Tour, and the sort of things the players and travelling fans will be getting up to – in association with LionsTour.com.
Here is the plan for Week 1.
The Lions first opponents of the 125th anniversary Tour are the second most famous touring team on Earth – The Barbarians.
In what will be a groundbreaking and emotionally charged occasion, the Lions will play in Hong Kong for the first time on 1 June 2013 as they look begin their Tour of Australia with a victory against the greatest invitational rugby team.
While the Lions prepare for one of the most anticipated Tours in history, fans can experience a taste of the Orient where East meets West. A boat trip around the harbour on the Duk Ling, the last remaining sailing junk in Hong Kong, high tea in a wonderful hotel or the aromatic delights of street corner food await as the hustle of everyday life swarms around you in the towering cityscape.
The Lions odyssey continues with a peek at the tightly packed streets with their blazing neon and steam-filled snack shops. Gems of satisfaction will offer themselves in the constantly changing harbour views, open air beers or an afternoon tea in the lobby of your luxury hotel.
Escape the city limits and other experiences await – watching the sun rise from a remote mountain peak, hiking surf-beaten beaches or exploring deserted islands.
All this set amongst the greatest two touring teams in the world battling it out for 80 minutes. One thing is certain, there is still plenty to do and see in Hong Kong once the final whistle has blown.
With the sun setting on the opening clash in Hong Kong, thoughts immediately turn to the next game on the Tour and the first in Australia on 5 June 2013 against Western Force – the first of the Australian Super XV sides to take on the Lions.
When the British & Irish Lions were last in Perth, back in 2001, they faced a Western Australia team that was thrashed in a 10-116 defeat. Since then the Emirates Western Force has been formed, and will provide a tough challenge for the Lions as their preparations for the opening Test in Brisbane begin in earnest.
Not only will the rugby provide a thrill but the city of Perth is renowned for its pristine parkland and over 50 miles of white sandy beaches. In addition to the beautiful landscapes, food lovers will be in their element, as Perth has more restaurants per capita than any other Australian city.
Other attractions that make Perth stand out as one of the finest destinations in Australia include the world’s oldest operating mint, art galleries and vast array of shopping opportunities.
Fill your time before and after the match with a range of activities then take your seat at the stadium to see the Lions take centre stage in their first of nine games against a variety of Australian sides.
Perth may be the world’s most remote city, but it is certainly not one that will be forgotten.
Look out for details tomorrow of Week 2 in Queensland and New South Wales. Who is booking their tour?
For the first time, the Lions have created their own travel company to bring Lions fans the Ultimate Lions Experience. You can find out more, as well as guaranteeing your place on the British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia 2013, at www.lionstour.com