Wallabies legend claims Adelaide and Perth are ‘throwing $10-$12million’ to Rugby Australia to secure the rights to a British and Irish Lions Test in 2025… with Brisbane set to be SNUBBED
- The British and Irish Lions will tour Australia in 2025
- Melbourne and Sydney will host two matches in the three-Test series
- Adelaide and Perth are battling it out for the right to host the third Test
The governments of South Australia and Western Australia are reportedly locked into a multi-million dollar battle to secure the rights to host a British and Irish Lions Test in 2025.
The Lions will travel to Australia for a three-Test series and while matches in Sydney and Melbourne are understood to be already locked in, the identity of the third host city is yet to be confirmed.
Brisbane has hosted the Lions on each of their tours going back to 1950, with Tests being played across four venues – the Brisbane Showgrounds, Ballymore Stadium, The Gabba and Lang Park.
But that impressive run could be coming to an end, according to Wallabies great Tim Horan.
‘There’s talk that Adelaide and Perth are throwing big numbers at Rugby Australia to host a British & Irish Lions Test match in either Perth or Adelaide, which would be fantastic,’ he told Stan Sport’s Rugby Heaven.
The British & Irish Lions run out at Suncorp Stadium in 2013, but the venue may not host a Test on the next Lions tour in 2025
Wallabies great Tim Horan has warned the Queensland Government that Suncorp Stadium may miss out on hosting a Test match in 2025
‘That means Brisbane misses out on the Test match.
‘The Queensland government really have to start talking to Rugby Australia and say: “Listen, these two other states – Perth and Adelaide – they’re throwing 10 to $12 million just to get this Test match”.’
With Australia hosting the 2027 Rugby World Cup, Brisbane’s potential absence from the Lions tour could raise questions over its role in the tournament.
Seven group games and two quarter-final matches were played at Suncorp Stadium when Australia last staged the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
‘The Queensland Government are very slow from what I’m hearing for Rugby World Cup to [put themselves forward as] host quarterfinals or pool stages,’ Horan said.
The Queensland Government has made clear the 2032 Olympic Games are its priority from a planning and financial standpoint and Horan suggested a compromise may have to be struck with Rugby Australia.
‘The challenge for Rugby Australia very quickly will be the balance between taking a lesser amount of money from the state government in Queensland compared to Perth or Adelaide, because finances have been tight for a long period of time,’ he said.
Traditionally cricket and AFL strongholds, Adelaide and Perth have both staged high-profile fixtures across both rugby codes of late.
The Adelaide Oval has emerged as one of the contenders to host one of the Tests against the Lions, after staging its first Wallabies match in 18 years last August
Optus Stadium is also in the running after hosting two Bledisloe Cup Tests in the past four years and staging the opening game of the series against England last July
The Adelaide Oval hosted the Wallabies for the first time in 18 years last August, when the Wallabies played South Africa in the Rugby Championship and will also stage Game I of the State of Origin series at the end of May.
The interstate between New South Wales and Queensland has relocated to Perth twice in the past four years, with Optus Stadium hosting Game II of the 2019 and 2022 series.
The Wallabies, meanwhile, have played two Bledisloe Cup Tests at Optus Stadium in 2019 and 2021 and were last in Perth in July last year for the opening Test of the series against England.
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