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Ireland to tour Georgia and Romania in 2025 Lions tour

Ireland’s defence coach Simon Easterby. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O’Connor in Durban

The Lions will be in Australia next year, while they plan to embark on a tour of Ireland, Georgia and Romania.

David Humphreys said tour details were not yet finalised but the squad was expected to be led by Simon Easterby, who is expected to replace Andy Farrell while he is on leave from the tour squad.

Ireland have never played a Test match in Georgia despite a number of Irish coaches, including David Humphreys, showing interest in the Lelos in recent years.

They last visited Romania in 2001, playing a Test match in Bucharest and last faced the Oaks in the World Cup last year.

With the majority of Irish players expected to leave Farrell and the Lions, the IRFU sees the tour as an opportunity to discover next-level talent.

“At this stage the fixtures are for Georgia and Romania. Exactly what that will look like is not confirmed yet but from a touring perspective we are very keen to get an opportunity for players who are not (at the Lions),” IRFU performance director Humphreys said.

“It’s a really good opportunity for some of our senior coaches to work with these players. It would be a good place for everyone to go. They have such high hopes for where they want to take the game. It’s a real benefit for these young players to experience that physical game.”