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Andy Farrell announced as British and Irish Lions head coach for Australia 2025 tour live on Sky Sports

Andy Farrell will take charge of the British & Irish Lions; Sky Sports will broadcast eighth consecutive Lions tour, dating back to 1997 with exclusive rights to 2025 tour of Australia between June 28-August 2; Lions will also play Argentina in Dublin on Friday June 20, live on Sky

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Andy Farrell said becoming the 2025 British and Irish Lions head coach 'means the world' and is 'special, magical, beyond words and a dream come true'

Andy Farrell has been announced as the next head coach of the British and Irish Lions for their 2025 tour to Australia, live on Sky Sports.

Former Wigan Warriors rugby league great Farrell has been head coach of Ireland for four years, first leading them into the 2020 Six Nations.

Farrell, 48, succeeds Warren Gatland in the prestigious role, whom he worked alongside as defence coach during the successful 2013 and 2017 Lions tours to Australia and New Zealand respectively.

"It is a tremendous honour and a privilege to be named head coach of the British & Irish Lions," Farrell said.

"I know how special Lions Tours are having been involved in the 2013 and 2017 Tours, so I am delighted to get the chance to lead the team in 2025.

"There is a wealth of talent across Britain and Ireland, and I am looking forward to building a team that can deliver the ultimate goal of success in Australia. I also want to thank the Irish Rugby Football Union for their support in allowing me to accept this prestigious opportunity.

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Need motivation? You need to listen to Farrell's 2013 Lions speech!

"The British & Irish Lions fan base is really special, uniting supporters from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and beyond. Mobilising that Sea of Red by creating a team that our fans can connect with and be proud of will be a key priority for me and will be crucial to our success."

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Under Farrell, Ireland accomplished near enough everything they could leading up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup: A Six Nations Triple Crown (2022), historic 2-1 series victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand (2022), Six Nations Grand Slam (2023), and firm world No 1 ranking after victories over every Tier One side as part of a 17-Test winning run.

As such, they entered the World Cup in France as one of the top favourites, albeit having been drawn on the tough side of the draw, and though they defeated eventual champions South Africa in Pool B, they lost in dramatic fashion to New Zealand 28-24 at the quarter-final stage.

That result aside, Farrell has led Ireland to tremendous success and done so playing a brand of exciting, attacking rugby.

18 March 2023; Head coach Andy Farrell
Image: Farrell has enjoyed huge success as Ireland head coach since leading them into the 2020 Six Nations

He has received accolades around the world as a consequence, including being named 2023's World Rugby Coach of the Year, and it was telling that his latest contract signing with the IRFU in December through to 2027 came with confirmation he had their blessing to coach the Lions during that period.

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We take a look at some of the best moments from the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour in Australia as we look ahead to the 2025 tour which be live on Sky Sports

Ben Calveley, British & Irish Lions CEO, said: "We are delighted to announce Andy Farrell as head coach of The British & Irish Lions for the Tour to Australia in 2025.

"Andy is without question one of the best coaches in the world and knows what it takes to win a Series in Australia given his involvement in the Series win in 2013. His achievements with Ireland in recent years have been exceptional and his coaching experience at test-match level with Ireland, England and The British & Irish Lions make him an outstanding candidate for this role.

"Andy is an excellent appointment for us and one which we believe will excite players and fans alike. It is clear to see that Andy has built a very strong connection between the Irish team and its fans and we are relishing a similarly strong connection being created with Lions fans in 2025."

British and Irish Lions 2025 tour schedule

Date Opponent Venue
Saturday, June 28 Western Force Perth
Wednesday, July 2 Queensland Reds Brisbane
Saturday, July 5 NSW Warratahs Sydney
Wednesday, July 9 ACT Brumbies Canberra
Saturday, July 12 Invitational AU-NZ Adelaide
Saturday, July 19 AUSTRALIA (first Test) Brisbane
Wednesday, July 22 Melbourne Rebels Melbourne
Saturday, July 26 AUSTRALIA (second Test) Melbourne
Saturday, August 2 AUSTRALIA (third Test) Sydney

Ieuan Evans, British & Irish Lions Chairperson said: "Andy Farrell's appointment marks a fantastic chapter for the Lions as we build towards the 2025 Tour in Australia. We know the challenge we face in Australia won't be easy and to have someone of his stature with the Lions puts us in a great position to replicate the success we enjoyed in 2013.

"British & Irish Lions Tours are unique in the world of sport and Australia is always a very special place to play rugby. It is home to some of the most iconic stadiums in the world which will be packed full of passionate fans."

Kevin Potts, CEO at the Irish Rugby Football Union, said: "Being named head coach of the British & Irish Lions is a huge honour and the IRFU are absolutely delighted for Andy Farrell and his family with this recognition.

"What Andy has accomplished with our Men's National Team has been exceptional. His leadership, passion and drive for the game will be a huge asset to the British & Irish Lions and we are looking forward to supporting him as he takes on this challenge".

Sky Sports to show 2025 British & Irish Lions tour of Australia

Sky Sports will exclusively show the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, with all three Tests and six warm-up matches to be shown live.

The agreement sees Sky Sports broadcast its eighth consecutive Lions Tour, with the partnership starting in 1997 with the iconic 2-1 series win over South Africa.

The Lions tasted success the last time they were on Australian soil in 2013, with a dramatic 2-1 series win following a memorable performance in the decisive final Test.

Having been defeated in a Covid-impacted tour of South Africa back in 2021, the Lions will be aiming to make it a second successive series win in Australia as they kick off the first Test at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

The Lions will play nine games on tour all around Australia, beginning against Western Force in Perth on June 28, 2025.

Further tour games follow against Queensland Reds in Brisbane on July 2, the Waratahs in Sydney on July 5, the Brumbies in Canberra on July 9, an Invitational Australia & New Zealand side in Adelaide on July 12 and the Rebels in Melbourne on July 22.

That game will take place after the opening Test in Brisbane on July 19, with the second Test at the MCG in Melbourne on July 26 and the final Test in the Accor Stadium in Sydney on August 2.

The Lions will also play in Ireland for the first time as they take on Argentina in a June 2025 warm-up fixture, also live on Sky Sports, ahead of their tour of Australia.

Lions to play in Ireland for first time ahead of 2025 Australia tour

The fixture against Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday June 20 follows the Lions beating Japan in an inaugural 1888 Cup contest in Edinburgh ahead of their 2021 tour of South Africa.

"The opportunity to play in Dublin at Aviva Stadium in front of over 50,000 Lions fans will make for a great occasion and the perfect send-off," Lions chief executive Ben Calveley said.

"British & Irish Lions Tours have a rich heritage built over 130 years of touring but alongside our strong history which we are very proud of, it is important that we look for ways in which to evolve our Tours."

While the last of the Lions' three tours of Argentina came in 1936, the last fixture between the sides ended in a 25-25 draw as they faced off in Cardiff in 2005.

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