Lions announce competitive schedule

The Lions have confirmed the fixtures they’ll play in 2013 during their Super Rugby absence.

These plans have been in the pipeline since the Lions were relegated from Super Rugby in August.

As reported in October, the Lions have been in contact with American, Pacific and European teams. Most of these clubs and countries have confirmed their availability next season.

The Lions will kick off their year with a home clash against Russia. Three Super Rugby warm-up matches against the Cheetahs, Bulls and Kings will follow.

They then face Namibia away and French Top 14 new boys Mont-de-Marsan at home, before embarking on a tour to the USA and Canada.

They then host Agen, Samoa, the French Barbarians, Montpellier and Grenoble at Ellis Park in May, June and July. There will also be Super Rugby opposition in the Stormers and Sharks, who will likely field under-strength teams during the tournament’s June break.

The Lions will then face the last-placed franchise in the South African conference in the Super Rugby promotion-relegation play-offs on 27 July and 3 August.

Lions 2013 schedule:
19 Jan – Russia, Ellis Park
23 Jan – Cheetahs, Ellis Park
2 Feb – Bulls, Orlando Stadium
9 Feb – Kings, Ellis Park
23 Feb – Namibia, Windhoek
16 March – Mont-de-Marsan, Ellis Park
13 April – US invitational, Irvine, California
20 April – US invitational, Vancouver, Canada
27 April – Chicago Lions, Chicago
11 May – Agen, Ellis Park
1 June – Samoa, Ellis Park
8 June – French Barbarians, Ellis Park
15 June – Stormers, Ellis Park
21 June – Sharks, Ellis Park
12 July – Montpellier, Ellis Park
20 July – Grenoble, Ellis Park
27 July – Super Rugby promotion-relegation 1st leg, TBC
3 August – Super Rugby promotion-relegation 2nd leg, Ellis Park