British & Irish Lions v Japan at Murrayfield to be shown live on Channel 4

Live coverage of the British & Irish Lions will return to terrestrial television for the first time in nearly 30 years when Channel 4 broadcasts their send-off match against Japan from BT Murrayfield.

Edinburgh trio Hamish Watson, Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland are among the eight Scots in the British & Irish Lions squad. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

Channel 4 will also show highlights of all three Lions Tests against South Africa and All4 will show highlights of their tour matches against provincial sides.

Eight Scotland players are in the 37-man Lions squad and the action will begin when Warren Gatland’s side take on Japan in Edinburgh on Saturday June 26 for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.

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The touring party will then head to South Africa where they will play five matches against local opposition before the first Test against the world champion Springboks on Saturday, July 24, with the second and third Tests on the following two Saturdays.

This will be the first time the Lions have been on terrestrial television since the 1993 tour of New Zealand and highlights of all Castle Lager Lions Series Tour matches will be shown on All4.

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It’s the latest coup from Channel 4 Sport which earlier this year brought free-to-air live Test cricket back to television screens after a 16-year break with its coverage of England’s tour in India.

The Lions matches will be presented by Scottish anchor Lee McKenzie.

British & Irish Lions managing director Ben Calveley said: “We are delighted that Channel 4 are our broadcast partners for our first match on home soil since 2005."

Channel 4 will also show live coverage of the Heineken Champions Cup final between La Rochelle and Toulouse at Twickenham on 22 May.

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