REPORT: Premiership agree to MOVE 2025 final - Ruck

REPORT: Premiership agree to MOVE 2025 final

The British and Irish Lions and Premiership Rugby have achieved a significant agreement, marking a historic milestone that aims to resolve long-standing tensions and conflicts related to player release, funding, and fixture clashes ahead of tours.

There has been longstanding animosity between the Lions and Premiership with neither party previously coming close to an agreement.

As revealed by The Telegraph, the Lions boss will now have “the best possible chance” heading into the 2025 tour of Australia.

Here are the key details revealed by The Telegraph:

In the 2024-25 season, Premiership Rugby will advance their final by one week, despite previous strong opposition to the idea.

By shifting the final, the Lions will regain at least one match from their schedule, which was reduced from 10 to eight games due to the San Francisco global calendar agreement in 2017. The Lions were not adequately represented in the negotiations at that time.

The Lions’ head coach will have the opportunity to organize a pre-tour warm-up match with a complete squad, either in the UK, Ireland, or abroad on the way to Australia.

All England-based players selected for the Lions will be able to participate in all Lions events, including pre-tour gatherings like the traditional ‘Messy Monday’ logistics day.

For the first time, the Lions have reached a groundbreaking commercial agreement to share a portion of the tour’s revenue with the clubs and players, in addition to the tour fee.

The Lions have also committed to collaborating with Premiership clubs in the 2024-25 season. They will organize events featuring current and former Lions players and assist in promoting players and clubs to enhance the visibility of the final.

It is anticipated that the URC (United Rugby Championship), co-owned by the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh unions, will also reschedule their final, similar to what was done before the 2021 tour of South Africa.

Mandatory rest periods have been agreed upon for players returning to their clubs at the start of the new season.

Sir Ian McGeechan picks his 2025 Lions coach

McGeechan has endorsed Andy Farrell, the coach of the Irish rugby team, for the position of head coach of the British and Irish Lions for the 2025 Australian tour.

With four Lions tours under his belt, McGeechan believes that Farrell is the leading contender for the role. 

Andy Farrell, Head Coach of Ireland is interviewed during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Media Launch at County Hall, Lambeth, London on Monday 23rd January 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

“Absolutely, yes,” Sir Ian said when asked.

“When I spoke to him I did mention it. He is just great at drawing players together and [it is] so important on a Lions tour that you get the chemistry and you get the players to come out and show what they can do.

“He has shown that superbly well with the Irish squad. It is exactly what you need from a Lions coach and, yes, for me he would be favourite.”


Will Greenwood: 2025 Lions XV


  • 15. Hugo Keenan (Ireland)
  • 14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)
  • 11. Adam Radwan (England)

Greenwood on Radwan: “The Newcastle Falcon might be raw, but if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. We’ve seen Cheslin Kolbe hot-step his way to a series-clinching try; Radwan could do the same.”

Greenwood on Rees-Zammit: “The Welshman saw his opportunities limited on the tour to South Africa but in the short periods he did feature you could tell there was a star in the making.”

Our selection: Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), Adam Radwan (England), Freddie Steward (England)


  • 13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
  • 12. Cameron Redpath (Scotland)

Greenwood on Redpath: “I am convinced that Redpath would have toured South Africa this year were it not for the serious knee injury sustained while in action for Bath.”

Our selection: Garry Ringrose (Ireland), Cameron Redpath (Scotland)