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Lions confirm Hong Kong date

18th October 2010 11:38

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Andy Irvine with Ian McGeechan and Gerald Davies

Irvine: Taking over as manager

British & Irish Lions have announced they will launch their 2013 tour to Australia with a match in Hong Kong.

The game against the Barbarians will serve as a curtain-raiser and will be the first time they have played in the region.

Former Scotland and Lions international Andy Irvine has been appointed tour manager, succeeding Gerald Davies.

Davies, who performed the role in South Africa last year, has been named Lions chairman.

In a further development, the Lions have renewed their sponsorship deal with HSBC until the end of the tour to Australia.

The bank will continue as the Lions' principle partner and shirt sponsor, extending the agreement that was first signed in 2007.

Lions chief executive John Feehan said: "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.

"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."