As they did for the 2013 Tour, Thomas Pink is once again playing an integral role as Official Outfitters for The British & Irish Lions 2017 Tour of New Zealand, ensuring they are the best dressed rugby team in the world.

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But this time around, the modern British shirtmaker is also launching its very own rugby club – with of course a twist of Thomas Pink personality.

Captained by one of the world’s greatest rugby players, Brian O’Driscoll, The Pink Lion Rugby Club will host a series of unique experiential events in the months leading up to June 2017 and provide fans with the inside track on the 2017 Tour.

The first of these events takes place over the course of three nights at The Pink Lion Rugby Club – otherwise known as The Clarence in Mayfair, London – on the 8th, 9th and 10th November 2016 and will include an evening with Lions legends, wine tasting with the Head Coach of the 2017 British & Irish Lions and a rugby club quiz hosted by a rather familiar face.

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Tuesday 8th November will see Warren Gatland, the 2017 British & Irish Lions Head Coach joined by former England and Lions prop turned wine connoisseur Andrew Sheridan for a wine tasting with a difference. The duo will put the finest Northern Hemisphere and New Zealand wines through their paces whilst also talking about what the 2017 Tour will hold on the pitch.

On Wednesday 9th November the Pink Lion Rugby Club will launch with its very own rugby club style initiation, that will see club captain Brian O’Driscoll joined by Lions legends Martin Bayfield, Scott Gibbs and Gavin Hastings for a night of ‘Lions Tales’.

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The week will be rounded off on Thursday 10th November with a special rugby club quiz. Question of Sport host, British & Irish Lion and 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson will host the Pink Lion Rugby Quiz, giving the public the chance to see if they can outfox his world renowned rugby knowledge.

If you can’t make it to the Club House event in Mayfair, highlights of the evening’s events will be hosted on the Pink Lion Rugby Club blog along with all the latest news and insights from the worlds of rugby and men’s style. The site will also feature regular blogs from Brian O’Driscoll and insights from the likes of Dylan Hartley, Rhys Webb, Conor Murray and Duncan Taylor throughout the season.

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Unlike The British & Irish Lions, to become a member of the Pink Lion Rugby Club you don’t need to be strong as an ox or a world class rugby player, just a fan with a strong sense for fashion and fun.

Brian O’Driscoll, Pink Lion Rugby Club Captain, commented: 

“It is amazing to be involved with something that gives back to Lions fans. ‘Pink Lion Rugby Club’ members will receive incredible access to exclusive events and content thanks to Thomas Pink. They will be able to attend Pink Lion Rugby Club events featuring past and present Lions, get some rugby insight from myself and other Lions and will also be in with a chance of playing in a touch rugby game against some of rugby’s legends. I’d definitely be joining the Pink Lion Rugby Club if I wasn’t already their captain!

Jonathan Heilbron, President and CEO of Thomas Pink, says:

“We are excited to be partnering with The British & Irish Lions again as they prepare to head to New Zealand. We intend to make sure that once again, The Lions remain the best dressed sports team in the world.

“Our vision for the Pink Lion Rugby Club has always been to create somewhere that unites fans from around the world, providing them with the latest insights from the world of rugby and style, all wrapped up in Thomas Pink’s unique personality.

“What better person to help lead such a rugby club than Brian O’Driscoll and we are delighted to have such a Lions legend as our club captain.”

To be guaranteed entry to the November events, sign up to the Pink Lion Rugby Club HERE

Enjoying his new life away from playing Brian  as a pundit and looking more than smart in the Thomas Pink Lions range, he had this to say about the Autumn Internationals –

Autumn Internationals .. are always a great spectacle of rugby, and particularly in a Lions year, I always felt were the first real opportunity to sow a positive seed into the coach’s mind that you are a ‘must have’ in his squad”

“I’ve always been of the mind-set that there are no such things as ‘friendlies’ in International rugby, any time you get to play for your country it is a huge deal. With this in mind I always saw the November series as an opportunity to take Southern Hemisphere scalps and I’m sure that mentality is something I share with a lot of lads getting ready for the Autumn Internationals.”

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And on the chances of the Home Nations –

“I personally think the quality and mood in the Wales and Ireland camps means they might pick off one win a piece against the Southern Hemisphere teams, with Ireland beating Australia.”

“I’m going to put my neck on the line and say Scotland might have to make do with a victory over Georgia, that said, they are more than capable of a win against Australia or Argentina in Edinburgh – the crowd up there always plays a huge part in the performance.”

“I think you’d be silly to look away from England and the form they’ve managed to develop in a short space of time under Eddie Jones. Their pack seems to really have their edge back and now competition for places is driving their standards even higher. Itoje and Kruis have the makings of a second row pairing for the ages in a position where the Lions will be loaded with class and I think England will remain undefeated.”

Brian was of course speaking before the injury news about the second row pairing otherwise known as Kruitoje!

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And on the Lions coach Warren Gatland –

“I have been lucky enough to work with Warren, he gave me my first cap so I’ve a huge amount to be thankful for. He’s a great thinker of the game and not afraid to be an innovator with new plays and concepts like the 13-man lineout. He’ll need all his international experience to come up with a game plan capable of thwarting the World Champions.”

“Warren has the pedigree and experience to lead the Lions down to New Zealand and do what no side has managed since the early 70’s. The fact he is a Kiwi himself will help the Lions understand the mentality of the hosts and what to expect from them.”

“He isn’t afraid of making the bold call which all good coaches need to have in their armoury and due to a lack of preparation time he’ll need a simple but challenging game plan that his squad can easily buy into and understand. New Zealand always offers a tough test for any rugby side and it will be no different for the Lions next year.”

 

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