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ESPN multicreen Lions coverage

May 22, 2013

ESPN has unveiled plans for its multiplatform coverage of the British and Irish Lions’ tour of Australia. ESPNscrum, which serves rugby union fans with an informative and entertaining mix of news, live minute-by-minute match coverage and live scores, will combine with ESPN Classic to provide fans a comprehensive Lions line-up.

ESPN Classic will bring fans some great Lions action from previous years, including:

  • 1974 “Invincibles”:  The 1974 tour to South Africa, when the Lions earned the tag “Invincibles” after they went unbeaten, winning 21 of their 22 matches
  • The 1997 tour to South Africa:  The Lions’ first visit to the country since the end of Apartheid, and the first tour since rugby union turned professional
  • The 2001 tour to Australia:  The Lions’ last visit to Australia, which saw the Wallabies pick up their first ever series win, as the visitors were beset by tensions in the squad
  • “Being a Lion”: will tell the story of what playing for the Lions is all about. Based on interviews with a number of legends, this will revisit the emotion of being selected and the pride in wearing the Lions’ colours,
  • “The Lions’ Top Fives”: Compilation featuring the top tries, controversies and players

Online and on mobile, ESPNscrum coverage of the tour will be led by assistant editor Tom Hamilton, who will be on the ground in Australia for the duration of the Lions’ tour, providing a mix of features, analysis and interviews in addition to a tour diary as the Lions look to win their first tour series since the visit to South Africa in 1997. This will be supported by ESPN’s London and Sydney-based rugby writers bringing fans team news, previews, live match coverage and analysis.

A host of podcasts and video content will feature on the site, including a discussion between ESPN rugby presenter Mark Durden-Smith and ESPN’s former Lion Austin Healey about the 2001 tour – the last time the Lions (including Healey) visited Australia.

Fans will also be able to test their rugby management skills against each other with the ESPNscrum Fantasy Rugby – 2013 Tour Game. Readers will also get the chance to take part in an interactive poll to establish the nation’s favourite Lions players, tries, moments and coaches, with a new voting category announced each week during the tour.

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