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All Blacks-Lions tickets to go in ballot

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/06/2016

All Blacks captain Kieran Read © Getty All Blacks captain Kieran Read New Zealand Rugby is to run a ballot for fans wanting tickets to the All Blacks' highly-anticipated Test series against the 2017 British and Irish Lions.

NZR chairman Brent Impey says full details on public sales for the three-match series will be announced in late June and tickets will start going on sale in October.

"We know demand to get to the games will be significant and we're taking a measured approach to tickets prices to enable as many people as possible to experience the series in their home town and around New Zealand," he said.

"What we can confirm at this stage is that we plan to run a ballot for the three Tests for Kiwis to get to these games."

Impey was speaking at a function marking one year until the 10-match tour, which begins with the Lions facing the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei on June 3.

He confirmed that the Barbarians would be made up of players from the national provincial championship - both the Mitre 10 Cup and the Heartland Championship.

The itinerary includes fixtures against all five of New Zealand's Super rugby sides as well as the Maori All Blacks.

The first and the third Tests will be in Auckland, with Wellington staging the middle match of the series.

Impey said it was 365 days until "the greatest rugby tour in the world" kicked off and he described the interest in Britain and Ireland as unprecedented.

He said the event was set to the biggest in New Zealand since the 2011 World Cup, with close to 350,000 tickets likely to the be sold.

It will be the Lions' 13th visit to New Zealand and the first since 2005, when the Tana Umaga-skippered All Blacks completed a 3-0 whitewash.

Impey said the 2005 tour attracted more than 20,000 overseas fans, produced an economic benefit of nearly $150 million and provided momentum for New Zealand's bid to host the 2011 World Cup.


June 3, v NZ Provincial Barbarians, Whangarei

June 7, v Blues, Auckland

June 10, v Crusaders, Christchurch

June 13, v Highlanders, Dunedin

June 17, v Maori All Blacks, Rotorua

June 20, v Chiefs, Hamilton

June 24, v All Blacks, first Test, Auckland

June 27, v Hurricanes, Wellington

July 1, v All Blacks, second Test, Wellington

July 8, v All Blacks, third Test, Auckland

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