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Schedule set for 2013 Lions tour of Australia

Updated: November 27, 2011, 22:36

MELBOURNE, Australia(AP) The British and Irish Lions will play tests against Australia in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in June-July 2013 during its nine-match tour.

The Lions, who last toured Australia in 2001, will open their test campaign in Brisbane on June 22, before playing in Melbourne on June 29 and completing their tour in Sydney on July 6.

The tour itinerary released Monday showed the Lions will also play against the Western Force in Perth on June 5, the Super 15 champion Queensland Reds in Brisbane on June 8, a combined New South Wales and Queensland country side at Newcastle on June 12, the NSW Waratahs at Sydney on June 15, the ACT Brumbies at Canberra on June 18 and the Melbourne Rebels on June 25.

"The Lions tour here in 2001 was an extraordinary event and one which provided significant economic benefit to those cities which hosted major matches,'' said Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill.

"A Lions Tour is a massive occasion. Behind the Rugby World Cup it is the most engaging, high-profile and popular event our game can showcase,'' O'Neill said. "It is not just about the three tests. It is about the hype and momentum a tour of six weeks develops.''

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