Great Britain to visit southern hemisphere next year in first Lions tour since 1996

Great Britain v New Zealand
Great Britain faced the New Zealand three times when the Kiwis toured in 2007

A Great Britain side is set to tour the southern hemisphere in 2019, with rugby league bosses hoping to finalise the details "in the next few weeks".

Great Britain have not played a Test since 2007, while it would be the first full Lions tour since 1996.

The Lions will face New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

"There is a demand for it in the southern hemisphere, lots of people love the brand," said Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer.

"Hopefully we'll bring it out in a four-year cycle. It's time to dust it off and get it out there."

However, Great Britain will not meet Australia, who are set to tour England in 2020.

Rimmer told BBC Sport there is "one item of commercial business to get done" regarding sponsorship, but that "everything looks to be moving in a positive direction".

The Rugby League International Federation board says the tour is subject to consultation with the major playing leagues and the players' representatives, and is part of an eight-year rolling contract approved in principle.

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