Lions braced for Hong Kong start

RUGBY UNION: The British and Irish Lions will meet the Barbarians in Hong Kong in an historic and glitzy curtain-raiser to the 2013 tour of Australia. The stop-off in Asia precedes nine fixtures Down Under, including three Test matches, at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne and then Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. The Lions will also face all five Super Rugby franchises – Western Force, Queensland Reds, Waratahs, Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels – and a combined New South Wales and Queensland Country team. The Lions, who under the captaincy of Martin Johnson lost 2-1 on their most recent trip to Australia in 2001, complete the five-week expedition with the potentially decisive Sydney Test on 6 July.