This is when the British and Irish Lions tour starts - and how to watch it on TV

The British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa is under way, with the squad to play their first game on South African soil on 3 July.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland named an expanded 37-man squad for the eight-match tour of South Africa - culminating in three Tests against the world champions.

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Here’s the full list of fixtures for the 2021 Lions tour of South Africa - and how to watch on TV.

When does the Lions tour start?

The Lions began their summer fixtures on familiar ground when Japan visited Murrayfield on Saturday 26 June 2021, which saw Warren Gatland's squad gain a 28-10 warm-up victory over Japan.

Gatland’s Lions will play against the Sigma Lions on Saturday 3 July – one of five games they’ll play before the start of the three-Test series against the Springboks later this month.

Fixtures against Super Rugby sides DHL Stormers, Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls will give tourists the chance to get acclimatised before the three Tests.

There will also be fixtures against a South Africa A to fulfil for Gatland’s team, who will be led on the field by Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones.

What is the full schedule of Lions tour fixtures?

The confirmed dates and venues of the British and Irish Lions tour so far:

Saturday 26 June - Lions vs Japan - BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh - KO: 3pm (BST)

Saturday 3 July - Lions vs Emirates Lions - Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg - KO: 5pm (BST)

Wednesday 7 July - Lions vs Cell C Sharks - Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg - KO: 7pm

Saturday 10 July - Lions vs Vodacom Bulls - Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - KO: 5pm

Wednesday 14 July - Lions vs South Africa A - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town - KO: 7pm

Saturday 17 July - Lions vs DHL Stormers - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town - KO: 5pm

Saturday 24 July - Lions vs South Africa - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town - KO: 5pm

Saturday 31 July - Lions vs South Africa - FNB Stadium, Johannesburg - KO: 5pm

Saturday 7 August - Lions vs South Africa - FNB Stadium, Johannesburg - KO: 5pm

How can I watch the Lions tour on TV?

All Lions tour matches will be shown live on TV.

Sky Sports won the television broadcast rights to the 2021 Lions tour of South Africa and will show all the action live through one or more of its dedicated channels.

Sky Sports packages cost upwards of £18 per month for individual channels for existing Sky customers, while the complete sports package costs £25 per month.

The matches can also be heard over the wireless through radio station TalkSport.

Channel 4 have the rights to the Lions’ pre-tour game against Japan and will be showing highlights of the South Africa Tests. All4 will show highlights from all tour matches.

Who made the 2021 Lions tour squad?

Alun Wyn Jones was named the British and Irish Lions captain for the 2021 tour of South Africa moments before the full squad was revealed. And here it is:

Backs: Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Louis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams.

Forwards: Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones (capt.), Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson.