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Lions for 2017

The British and Irish Lions announced that the players chosen to compete in next summer’s New Zealand tour will receive £70.0M ($93,100) for the ten game schedule with a £25.0M ($33,250) bonus if they win two of the three Test matches against the All Blacks. The other seven games are against New Zealand clubs, including the Maori All Blacks.  This sum represents a significant increase of £20.0M over the 2013 tour of Australia when the tour fee totaled £50.0M.

One set payment is applicable to all on the tour, regardless of the player’s notoriety or current club salary. The monies are paid whether a player competes in all matches or none.

The ten game schedule commences June 3 and ends on July 8, the third All Black match. In total, the Lions will visit seven venues on their trip.

The bonus looks inviting but the reality is that the Lions have only won one test match series in New Zealand in 1971 when they went 2-1-1. Of note is that the team’s total record since 1904 shows the Lions at 6-29-3 against the All Blacks. The last Lions tour victory occurred 23-years ago in 1993.

(No word yet whether these All Black vs. Lions games will be televised in the US).