Fixtures for the 12th British and Irish Lions tour in 2017 are now out, and what a feast of rugby it will be. They play the All Blacks across three Tests, and all five Super Rugby franchises.
Oddly Eden Park gets the first and third Tests with Wellington the second, meaning none will be held in the South Island.
Hopefully the Super franchises will make a go of it rather than play their seconds, which is sometimes the case on Lions tours.
Lions teams generally find it tough in New Zealand, with just the one series win in 1971. The great Welsh players of the 70s providing the backbone of that side. Names like JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, Gareth Edwards and Barry John ring through the ages as legends of the game.
New Zealand will have long replaced many of the current players by then so it promises to be an exciting series.
I think New Zealand generally get an advantage by playing a side that has usually come together fairly recently so its doubly important the tourists make good use of the five matches prior to the first Test to hone their top side and key combinations.
Wales also play three Tests in New Zealand next year as we return to the Winter tours.
2017 British and Irish Lions Tour fixtures
3 June v Provincial Union Team, Toll Stadium, Whangarei
7 June v Blues, Eden Park, Auckland
10 June v Crusaders, AMI Stadium, Christchurch
13 June v Highlanders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
17 June v Maori All Blacks, Rotorua International Stadium
20 June v Chiefs, Waikato Stadium Hamilton
24 June v All Blacks (1st test), Eden Park, Auckland
27 June v Hurricanes, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
1 July v All Blacks (second test), Westpac Stadium, Wellington
8 July v All Blacks (3rd tst), Eden Park, Auckland