News was released yesterday that the British and Irish Lions Rugby League side are set to tour the Southern Hemisphere at the end of the 2019 season, 12 years after they were officially disbanded.
The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) meet in Singapore recently to discuss the future of the international game and in doing so issuing a proposed schedule that will hopefully be confirmed later in the year.
That proposed calendar did need some renegotiating as its believed the Australian RL wanted to tour the UK at the end of the 2019 season, but will now do so in 2020, with the Kiwi’s coming to british shores in 2018 and 2022. In keeping with the four year calendar the Uk and France have already begun preparations to host the next World Cup in 2021.
The last time the British Lions were in action they defeated a touring Kiwi’s side 3-0, however following that series win they were officially disbanded, with England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales all playing under their own banners, something they will continue to do so for any future World Cups or Incoming tours to these shores.
The decision to hold the Kangaroo’s tour to Britain back a year was believed to be the idea of the current World Cup organisers who want the 2020 tour to help build momentum in this country in the build up to the 2021 World Cup, thus allowing time for a Lions tour of the southern hemisphere by Great Britain is now expected to take place next year and include Tests against Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and possibly another Pacific nation.
Some of the main elements of the current Proposals:
Rugby League World Cup in 2021 (UK & France) and 2025 (USA)
Australia tour to UK in 2020
New Zealand tour to UK in 2018 and 2022
Lions tour to southern hemisphere in 2019 and 2024
2018 European Championship (then at two-year intervals)
2018 Australia v New Zealand Test (annually to 2022)