CAN you hear the roar? It’s approaching fast – the British and Irish Lions are set to take to the field once again on a tour of rugby-mad New Zealand.
Not only are they facing the double world champions, but a team that no Lions squad has defeated in a full series since 1971.
In fact, the last time the Lions even beat the All Blacks in a single Test match was in 1993.
Keep up to date with ALL the latest BRITISH and IRISH LIONS news, gossip and rumours
Despite George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Corbisiero and Jonny Sexton’s heroics four years ago, when the Lions clinched a 2-1 win over Australia – this is another matter altogether.
Nobody can argue that New Zealand are one of the greatest rugby playing sides of all-time and their pedigree is unquestioned.
They’ve won the Rugby Championship (formerly the Tri Nations) four times in the last five years.
Here, SunSport breaks down all the fixtures and gives you all the TV times as well as squad info as the Lions get set for one of the biggest series in a generation.
BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS 2017 TOUR FIXTURES
Saturday, June 3, 2017 – New Zealand Provincial Union XV vs British and Irish Lions – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – Toll Stadium, Whangarei
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 – Blues vs British and Irish Lions – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, June 10, 2017 – Crusaders vs British and Irish Lions – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 – Highlanders vs British and Irish Lions – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – Forsyth Barr, Dunedin
Saturday, June 17, 2017 – Maori All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 – Chiefs vs British and Irish Lions – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – FMG Stadium, Waikato, Hamilton
Saturday, June 24, 2017 – NEW ZEALAND vs BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS – FIRST TEST – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 – Hurricanes vs British and Irish Lions – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, July 1, 2017 – NEW ZEALAND vs BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS – SECOND TEST – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – NEW ZEALAND vs BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS – THIRD TEST – 8.35am UK & Ireland/7.35pm NZ – Eden Park, Auckland
When is the British and Irish Lions squad announced?
Head coach Warren Gatland will name his Lions squad on April 19.
Announcements in recent years have come after the European Cup semi-finals, but this year will be confirmed before.
Those games will be played on the weekend of April 21, 22 and 23 2017.
What is the likely starting XV for the British and Irish Lions?
Although it’s near impossibly to judge with the squad not even announced, based on the statistics, we can hazard a guess.
Thanks to some help from bettingexpert.com we’ve put together the starting line-up based on those most deserving.
And it’s fair to say, that XV looks rather strong (see above), with an English-Irish flavour…
Eye on the ball
Brazilian footballers have a tough time concentrating as stunning lineswoman Denise Bueno officiates… with a kit including a wet T-shirt
Eden to Real
Chelsea star Eden Hazard ‘agrees deal to join Real Madrid with Alvaro Morata moving the other way’
PREM STARS’ JAIL THREAT
Ex-Prem pair Michael Essien and Carlton Cole could be jailed for breaking Indonesian migrant law
Conor McGregor’s Aintree hotel suite left trashed and littered with nitrous oxide canisters after five days of wild partying
Ous the daddy?
Manchester United eye £50million move for Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Ousmane Dembele
‘Something wasn’t right’
Chelsea star David Luiz must be injured after his Man United horror show, says Jamie Carragher
THE PSYCHIC one
Jose Mourinho predicted EXACTLY how the second half of Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Chelsea would pan out
Hey Mkhi, you’re so fine
Man Utd star Henrikh Mkhitaryan donates to homeless man… and narrowly avoids £60 ticket after illegally parking £70k Mercedes
A PARTING GIFT?
Alexis Sanchez reveals emotional reason he celebrated so much after Arsenal’s win over Middlesbrough
Marcus Rashford ‘will be one of the most important players in the world, insists Man Utd ace Matteo Darmian
More leaked images
WWE star Melina in fresh heartache as more naked pictures of her are leaked on the internet
TWO WILL DO
Antoine Griezmann and Romelu Lukaku top Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United wishlist this summer
Formula One boss Vijay Mallya arrested in London over £1billion money laundering charges
Sanch the Saint
Arsenal will push Alexis Sanchez to PSG – to keep him away from rivals Chelsea and Man City
THE WIL OF GOD
Bournemouth’s on-loan Arsenal star Jack Wilshere reveals how religion helps him through injury hell
An avid poker ace whose heart issues almost ended his career early and a Coke addict who signed first contract on a napkin: 14 facts you didn’t know about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
We weren’t in the fast Lain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sensationally claims Arsenal players haven’t been giving their all
Neymar reveals he doesn’t want to finish career at Barcelona, Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain
IPL 2017: Indian Premier League schedule, results and fixtures from the 10th edition of the T20 tournament