British and Irish Lions team react in the last moments against South Africa in their international rugby test match at the Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria - Reuters

Lions tour to reap $300m for economy: ARU

Lions tour to reap $300m for economy: ARU

By Eurosport
Last update 20/06/2012 at 15:06 - Published on 20/06/2012 at 15:05
By Eurosport - 20/06/2012 at 15:06

The British and Irish Lions tour to Australia next year is set to generate up to $300 million for the local economy, says Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill.

The Lions will play nine matches in Australia including a three-Test series with the Wallabies and O'Neill said on Wednesday the ARU had already received about 26,000 enquiries about ticket packages.

O'Neill was speaking at a Sydney media conference with Lions tour manager Andy Irvine almost a year out from the first Test between the Wallabies and Lions at Suncorp Stadium on June 22 next year.

Irvine said discussions were continuing with Six Nations-winning Welsh coach Warren Gatland about leading the Lions on the tour.

O'Neill also revealed a personal dream to have a combined Australia and New Zealand team play the Lions in 2015 to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli conflict in World War 1.

He also floated the possibility of a SANZAR - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - team playing the Lions in 2015 following the World Cup.

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