London - The British and Irish Lions will kick off their 2013 tour to Australia with a match against the Barbarians in Hong Kong, it was confirmed on Monday.
The Lions, who last toured Australia in 2001, will be making their debut in the former British colony, which is rapidly emerging as a popular Asian venue for high-profile rugby internationals.
Former Scotland and Lions international Andy Irvine will manage the 2013 campaign, succeeding Gerald Davies who steps up to chairman.
"To be able to confirm today that the Lions will break new ground with their first ever fixture in Hong Kong will ensure the tour to Australia is even more special," Lions chief executive John Feehan said.
"I'd also like to congratulate Andy and Gerald on their appointments.
"The Lions will benefit hugely from having two highly regarded and respected former Lions at the helm for the tour to Australia."
The Lions last won in Australia in 1989, defeating the Wallabies 2-1.