2009 June rugby union tests
The 2009 mid-year rugby union tests (also known as the Summer Internationals in the Northern Hemisphere) refers to the rugby union Internationals played from 23 May to 4 July 2009, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere.
The main event in the series was the Lions tour of South Africa, which involved three test matches, while France and Italy travelled to Oceania.
For Australia, New Zealand and South Africa the Tests also constituted preparation for the 2009 Tri Nations. There was also a short tour for the Barbarians, including their first ever match in Australia. The two main North American sides, Canada and the United States, used the series as preparation for their annual early-summer competition, the Churchill Cup, and for their 2011 Rugby World Cup qualifying tie in July.
South Africa attempted to schedule two warm-ups for the Springboks before the Lions tour; however, only one eventually materialised, and it was not a full Test. Initial plans were that the Boks would play a late May test against neighbours Namibia at Windhoek, to be followed by a match in Soweto with New Zealand Māori. The Windhoek match morphed into a fixture between a South Africa XV and a "Namibian Invitational XV" made up mostly of South Africans, including five Springboks, won 36–7 by the South Africa XV on 29 May. The New Zealand Māori match went from a Springboks match to a South Africa XV match before being scrapped because the South African Rugby Union could not find sponsorship or a venue.
With the Lions tour taking place in South Africa, three of the four individual home unions fielded weakened, experimental sides in their matches, with Scotland not playing in this series. England played home friendlies against the Barbarians and Argentina and then travelled to Argentina for a return match with the Pumas, while Ireland and Wales went to North America. The first England-Argentina matchup was notable because the Argentine Rugby Union moved the game to England in effort to raise cash to help support their fledgling professional setup; the move was also convenient for their large contingent of European-based players. Argentina also played a match with the touring French Barbarians; while it was not an official Test, the Pumas fielded a mostly first-choice side.
- France and New Zealand drew their tour as France won the first test, but New Zealand won the second test, making a tour result of 1–1.