The British & Irish Lions will host Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday 26 June 2021 for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.
The first-ever clash between the world’s greatest touring side and the Brave Blossoms will raise the curtain for the Lions’ eagerly awaited Tour to South Africa, which culminates in a three-Test series against Rugby World Cup champions, the Springboks.
Tickets for the historic fixture go on pre-sale on Tuesday 3 November, with supporters able to register their interest at lionsrugby.com/Vodafone-1888-Cup. Vodafone customers will be able to benefit from access to tickets and giveaways via the VeryMe loyalty programme.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland believes the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-finalists will provide a stern test for his squad before they depart for South Africa.
“We saw Japan play some excellent rugby during the World Cup and they will come to Edinburgh fully-motivated to win,” said Gatland.
“They are a talented side who play high-tempo rugby, so it’ll be a good challenge for us ahead of the Tour, and a chance for the match day squad to put their hands up for Test selection.”
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Fullback: JPR Williams (Wales)
“In attack, JPR was to be seen either working in tandem with his wing three-quarters or terrifying defensive lines. He was also a towering figure in defence, safe as houses under a high ball and with a penchant for demolishing attackers.”
Wing: Gerald Davies (Wales)
“I have so many fond memories of seeing him taking on opponents – often with a swagger which very few have the right to exhibit. He wove, he probed, he varied his angles of running and was always in position to counter attack from deep in tandem with his full-back.”
Centre: Jeremy Guscott (England)
“Jerry restored fans’ faith in the aesthetic and artistic qualities of the game. I always appreciated his effortless style. Opponents were unable to predict whether he was going to run, pass or kick. Everything he did was instinctive and this made him a very difficult player to read.”
Centre: Mike Gibson (Ireland)
“Mike Gibson was the complete footballer, ‘phenomenal’ according to The New Zealand Rugby Annual. In an interview, Brian O’Driscoll paid a sincere tribute to one of Irish rugby’s greatest ever players: ‘At times when Irish rugby wasn’t successful, he was always the shining light.”
Winger: JJ Williams (Wales)
““His combination of electrifying speed and breathtaking audacity disarmed organised defences on the Lions tour of South Africa in 1974. In an interview, Brian O’Driscoll paid a sincere tribute to one of Irish rugby’s greatest ever players: ‘At times when Irish rugby wasn’t successful, he was always the shining light.”