Adopt a Lion: Kiwis urged to open homes for touring fans

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Rugby fans across New Zealand are offering free accommodation to British and Irish Lions fans unable to find affordable lodgings for this year's tour.

The Lions will play 10 matches in New Zealand - including three Tests against the All Blacks - during June and July, visiting Whangarei, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Rotorua, Hamilton and Wellington.

However, many Lions fans hoping to make the trip have seemingly found it difficult to find accommodation, prompting rugby follower Adam Gilshnan to set up an 'Adopt a Lions Fan' page on Facebook.

Explaining its goal, a message on the page states: "As we all know, there are expected to be close to 20,000 British and Irish Lions fans heading to NZ this year for the much-anticipated tour, and it's going to be huge!

"Sadly for a lot of the fans, the prices for accommodation is putting it beyond their reach, or the cities hosting the matches have no rooms left at all.

"So this 'event' is to see if there are any Kiwis keen to open their doors to 'adopt' a Lions fan [or two], and really show them the true hospitality Kiwis are world famous for.

"We are hoping that Kiwis will get into the spirit of this, and show the world just why New Zealand is the rugby capital of the world."

Gilshnan was quoted by the Guardian as saying: "I really hope friendships will develop out of this, because rugby is a great vehicle for it.

"We don't want money to change hands at all, we want visitors to experience the famed Kiwi hospitality, and give Kiwi rugby fans the opportunity to look after their Lions guests."