DHL NZ Lions Series
The British and Irish Lions are a combined rugby team made up of the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Although officially established in 1910, Lions sides have been visiting the Southern Hemisphere since 1888 when the first team toured Australia and New Zealand.
Formally known as the British Isles, the team was nicknamed the Lions in the inter-war period after the emblem on the players’ jersey and lapel badges. The team visits Australia, New Zealand and South Africa on a rotational basis. The tours are hugely popular with Lions fans travelling in their thousands to follow the fortunes of their team.
This will mark the 11th tour to New Zealand by the Lions and the first rugby tour to New Zealand in the professional era. The Lions last toured New Zealand in 1993.
Out of a total of 35 Tests played between New Zealand and the Lions, New Zealand has won 26 to the Lions’ six with three drawn. The Lions’ only series victory in New Zealand was in 1971 when the tourists prevailed 2-1, with one drawn Test.
The All Blacks achieved their biggest winning margin against the Lions during
their 1983 tour, beating the visitors 38–6. The Lions’ biggest Test
win was on the 1993 tour when they beat the All Blacks 20-7.
Facts and stats
The British and Irish Lions will be making their 11th visit to New Zealand.
All Blacks records against the Lions
Highest score: 38-6 in 1983
Lions’ records against the All Blacks
Highest score: 20-7 in 1993
Lions’ records on tour in New Zealand
Highest score: 64-5 v Marlborough Nelson Golden Bay- Motueka 1959
Rugby points of interest
• Bill Rowlands played prop for Wairarapa Bush against the Lions in 1966, 1971, 1977 and 1983. Rowlands, a son-in-law of George Nepia, captained in the 1977 encounter.
• Irish midfield back Mike Gibson toured New Zealand with the 1966, 1971 and 1977 Lions’ teams, during which time he played 45 matches, scored 16 tries and 80 points. In between time he played in all seven matches played by the 1975 Irish side, scoring a further seven points.
• Colin Meads has played against the Lions a record 14 times including 11 Test matches, from three in 1959; four in 1966 and four in 1971. His three provincial matches were for King Country Counties in 1959, for Wanganui King Country in 1966 and 1971. He was captain for the four tests in 1971 and for the three provincial games. From these 14 matches he was on the winning side on eight occasions with five losses and a draw.
• The best provincial performances against the Lions have been recorded
by Auckland with six victories and a draw; Otago five victories and a draw and
Canterbury with four victories.
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