The British & Irish Lions have announced a historic first tour for their women’s team in 2027. They will travel to New Zealand, the dominant force in women’s rugby, for a three-test series against the world champion Black Ferns. Major sponsors are already investing in developing the women’s game leading up to this inaugural tour, which gives rising female players an prestigious new pinnacle to aim for. While it has taken over a century for the Lions to organize a women’s tour, this landmark announcement cements women’s rugby as an integral part of the sport’s future alongside the men’s game. The tour is expected to attract sell-out crowds and further boost the rapidly growing popularity and professionalism of international women’s rugby globally.
In a historic announcement, the prestigious British & Irish Lions have revealed plans to send their first ever women’s team on an overseas tour. In 2027, a squad representing the best female players from the UK and Ireland will travel to New Zealand – the current queens of women’s rugby – for a series of test and provincial matches.
This monumental decision cements women’s rugby as a core part of the sport’s future. For the first time, rising stars across the four nations now have a pinnacle achievement to aim for – the chance to pull on the famous red jersey and represent their country against the world’s number one side, the Black Ferns.
New Zealand was the natural choice as the inaugural tour destination given their dominance of the women’s game. As back-to-back World Cup winners, a series against the Black Ferns will pit the Lions against the very best. With the Kiwis known for their passionate support of rugby, packed stadiums are expected for the three test matches.
Significantly, major sponsors Royal London and Howden have already pledged funding to develop the women’s pathway systems over the next three years. Their long-term investment will help unearth new talent and strengthen the foundations of the women’s game across the UK and Ireland.
As one former Lion pointed out, the women’s game is accelerating at a rapid pace. In just a few short years, it will be unrecognizable from today. The Lions tour serves as a landmark moment – a clear signal that women’s rugby has truly come of its own and secured its place alongside the men’s game.
While it took over a century for women to receive this prestigious opportunity, the future is bright. This groundbreaking tour will inspire the next generation and light the path towards even greater heights for the women’s game.