Ireland’s Andy Farrell was appointed today as the British and Irish Lions coach for the 2025 tour of Australia.
Farrell, the current World Rugby Coach of the Year, succeeds Warren Gatland, who coached the last three tours in 2021, 2017, and 2013.
The Ireland coach had been an assistant coach to Gatland on the 2013 and 2017 tours but did not feature on the coaching staff in the South African tour in 2021.
Farrell, 48, has led Ireland to a first series win in New Zealand and a Six Nations Grand Slam since taking charge in 2019. He also recently signed a new deal with IRFU until the end of the 2027 Rugby World Cup and has been given permission to lead the Lions in the summer of 2025 as part of a sabbatical.
The former Rugby League player claimed that the chance to take charge of the Lions was both an “honour and a privilege.”
The new British and Irish Lions Head Coach said, “It is a tremendous honour and a privilege to be named Head Coach of the British and Irish Lions. I know how special Lions Tours are having been involved in the 2013 and 2017 Tours, so I am delighted to get the chance to lead the team in 2025.”
“There is a wealth of talent across Britain and Ireland, and I am looking forward to building a team that can deliver the ultimate goal of success in Australia. I also want to thank the Irish Rugby Football Union for their support in allowing me to accept this prestigious opportunity. The British and Irish Lions fan base is really special, uniting supporters from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and beyond. Mobilising that Sea of Red by creating a team that our fans can connect with and be proud of will be a key priority for me and will be crucial to our success.”
Farrell was appointed head coach by a panel of former players and coaches, including Brian O’Driscoll, Ian McGeechan, and Nigel Redman, as well as Lions chairperson Ieuan Evans and CEO Ben Calveley.
Calveley added, “We are delighted to announce Andy Farrell as Head Coach of the British and Irish Lions for the Tour to Australia in 2025. Andy is without question one of the best coaches in the world and knows what it takes to win a series in Australia, given his involvement in the series win in 2013. His achievements with Ireland in recent years have been exceptional, and his coaching experience at the test-match level with Ireland, England, and the British and Irish Lions make him an outstanding candidate for this role.”
The Lions’ first game will take place in Dublin on Friday, June 20, 2025, for the Lions 1888 Cup. This will be the first time the British and Irish Lions will play in Ireland and will help prepare the team ahead of the 2025 tour to Australia.
The Lions will also face the Australian side Western Force, the Queensland Reds, the ACT Brumbies, and others before the three-test decider against Australia on July 19, 26, and August 2.
2025 Lions Tour to Australia (kick-off times TBC):
20 June: Lions vs Argentina, Dublin (Aviva Stadium)
28 June: Lions vs Western Force, Perth (Optus Stadium)
2 July: Lions vs Queensland Reds, Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium)
5 July: Lions vs NSW Waratahs, Sydney (Allianz Stadium)
9 July: Lions vs ACT Brumbies, Canberra (GIO Stadium)
12 July: Lions vs Invitational AU & NZ, Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
19 July: 1st Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium)
22 July: Lions vs Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne (Marvel Stadium)
26 July: 2nd Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Melbourne (Melbourne Cricket Ground/MCG)
2 August: 3rd Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Sydney (Accor Stadium)”