Lions captain Sam Warburton, playing colleague Manu Tuilagi, Lions manager Andy Irvine, chairman Gerald Davies and chief executive John Feehan paid tribute to the first Lions captain Robert Seddon at a wreath-laying ceremony near Newcastle.
Seddon drowned in the Hunter River during the Lions' 1888 tour of Australia, and the Lions group will be joined by Australian Rugby Union president David Crombie and Newcastle MP Tim Owen in a tribute at Campbells Hill Cemetery.
The 1888 Lions played 35 matches in New Zealand and Australia against provincial, city and student opposition, winning 27, losing two and drawing six.
"When Bob Seddon died, he had no idea of the incredible legacy that he had left," Irvine said.
"125 years later, we are here as the 32nd team to have left Britain and Ireland, and we are incredibly proud to be able to represent the four countries.
"Rugby union is a sport that transcends all boundaries, whether it be race, creed politics or religion.
"It is a game that gives us great pleasure. I'd just like to say, on behalf of my touring team, it is a great honour to be here to commemorate our first captain."