* The British and Irish Lions are a combined rugby team made up of the best players from

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

.



Although officially established in

1910

, Lions sides have been visiting the Southern Hemisphere since

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1888

when the first team toured Australia and New Zealand. The first ever game was an 8-3 win over Dunedin.



* Out of a total of 35 Tests played between New Zealand and the Lions, New Zealand has won 26 to the Lions' six with three drawn. The

Lions' only series victory in New Zealand

was in 1971 when the tourists prevailed 2-1, with one drawn Test.



* This will mark the

11th tour

to New Zealand by the Lions and the first rugby tour to New Zealand in the professional era. The Lions last toured New Zealand in 1993.



* The Lions

name

started between WW1 and WW2 and was taken from the jersey emblem.



* An estimated

15,000 Barmy Army fans

are coming to New Zealand for the tour. The majority of fans will come for the three Tests against the All Blacks.



* An estimated 1000–1500

campervans

will be travelling around the country. They will be joined by an estimated 150-180

tour buses

. A

cruise ship

, the Pacific Sky, has been booked for the tour. It can accommodate around 1200 people.



* The Lions Tour is expected to generate more than $50 million to the New Zealand

economy

.



* The British and Irish Lions team will be coached by England's Rugby World Cup-winning coach

Sir Clive Woodward

who will bring 44 players and 27 management staff.



* Recent tour results:




Australia 2001

Lions 29-13 Australia, Brisbane


Lions 14-35 Australia, Melbourne


Lions 23-29 Australia, Sydney


Australia won series 2-1



South Africa 1997

Lions 25-16 South Africa, Cape Town


Lions 18-15 South Africa, Durban


Lions 16-35 South Africa, Johannesburg


Lions won series 2-1



New Zealand 1993

Lions 18-20 All Blacks, Christchurch


Lions 20-7 All Blacks, Wellington


Lions 13-30 All Blacks

,

Auckland


All Blacks won series 2-1