The British & Irish Lions — the rugby union all-star team with players drawn from all home nations of the United Kingdom as well as Ireland — plays its final warm-up Tuesday before the first international Test match of the 2017 New Zealand tour on Tuesday, a match that will live stream as the Lions take on Chiefs, the current fourth place team on the Australasian Super Rugby table. But Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland has thrown the game wide pine by changing all 15 starting players from his team’s victory on Saturday over Maori All Blacks.
Northern Ireland’s 34-year-old hooker Rory Best gets his first opportunity to captain the Lions in Hamilton, New Zealand, with six players on the side getting into a game for the first time on the tour on which the Lions have already played five matches.
The Chiefs side, however, will likely feature no players set to start for New Zealand in Saturday’s first Test match, to three scheduled on the 10-date tour. But for the Lions, several players will be trying to impress Gatland enough to earn a starting spot in the Eden Park test just four days later.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Chiefs vs. British & Irish Lions rugby union tour match, see the streaming instructions at the bottom of this article.
ICYMI: The Lions team has been announced for #CHIvBIL…
— British&Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) June 18, 2017
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. New Zealand Standard Time at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, June 24. For fans in the United Kingdom and Ireland, that start time will be 8:30 a.m. British Summer Time. Rugby viewers in the United States, however, will need to stay up into the wee hours to watch the live stream. The Chiefs vs. Lions game will get underway at 3:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 12:30 a.m. Pacific.
On Saturday, June 17, the Lions — albeit a Lions squad with all 15 players different from those who will start against Chiefs — dominated Maori All Blacks with a 32-10 drubbing, led by 20 points kicked by 28-year-old Wales and Toulon fullback Leigh Halfpenny. Watch highlights of the Lions’ most recent match in the video below.
Chiefs are also playing a weakened side, selected by Coach Dave Rennie, with James Lowe, Charlie Ngatai, Damian McKenzie, and Tawera Kerr-Barlow all sitting out. Test side stars Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, and Anton Lienert-Brown, along with Dominic Bird and Nepo Laulala, are also missing from Tuesday’s Chiefs lineup.
To watch the Chiefs Vs. British & Irish Lions Rugby Union Tour Match live stream in the United States, use the stream provided by ESPN3, the online-only network of ESPN, at this link, or download the WatchESPN app to watch the Rugby Union matchup on mobile devices. ESPN3 will carry the international rugby showdown from 26,000-seat Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, live in the United States, and it is free to subscribers of most major internet service providers and many minor ISPs as well. For a full list, check this link.
Fans who are still unable to log in to ESPN3 can watch the Chiefs vs. Lions game via the Sling TV internet TV package at this link. The package, which includes a variety of channels, including ESPN3, costs $20 per month. But Sling TV offers a seven-day free trial, so subscribers can choose whether or not to keep the service after watching the rugby union tour match stream live online.
In the United Kingdom, fans can watch a live stream as the British & Irish Lions take on the Super Rugby side Chiefs leading up to the first Test of the tour using the Sky Go streaming service, which can be found at this link but will require a subscription to Sky Sports. The New Zealand Sky Sports channel will also carry the rugby match in that country, with a live stream available at this link.
[Featured Image by Hannah Peters/Getty Images]