Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Lions History

In-Depth History

  • The 2009 Lions coaching staff of Rob Howley, Ian McGeechan, Warren Gatland and Shaun Edwards

    Lions tour 2009

    It was a case of so close, yet so far for the British and Irish Lions as they failed to emulate the Class of 97 in South Africa. Read More

  • British and Irish Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll is stretchered off two minutes into the first Test against New Zealand

    Lions tour 2005

    The Lions toured New Zealand in 2005 for the first time since their 2-1 defeat in 1993 - but they came home chastened following a series whitewash. Read More

  • British and Irish Lions captain Martin Johnson is left dejected after the third Test defeat

    Lions tour 2001

    The British and Irish Lions suffered their first-ever series defeat to Australia as went down 2-1 - although the tour was overshadowed by a split in the camp. Read More

  • Jeremy Guscott drops the winning goal against South Africa in the second Test

    Lions tour 1997

    A Lions team billed as underdogs ran out surprise 2-1 winners against world champions South Africa in their first-ever professional tour to the country. Read More

  • Dejected Lions players as they head for defeat to New Zealand in the third Test

    Lions tour 1993

    A Lions team with a strong English contingent were edged out 2-1 by their All-Black counterparts in a very close series. Read More

  • The British and Irish Lions celebrate a series victory over Australia

    Lions tour 1989

    Finlay Calder's side became the first in Lions history to win a series after losing the opening match as they defeated Australia 2-1. Read More

  • Roy Laidlaw in action during the fourth Test against New Zealand

    Lions tour 1983

    The 1983 squad joined the 1966 team in suffering a 4-0 series hammering, this time at the hands of the All Blacks Read More

  • British and Irish Lions captain Bill Beaumont disembarks from an internal flight during the tour to South Africa

    Lions tour 1980

    Bill Beaumont's injury-hit squad went on a controversial tour of apartheid South Africa and lost 3-1 as the curtain came down on the international career of two Lions. Read More

  • British and Irish Lions captain Phil Bennett

    Lions tour 1977

    After winning their first-ever series against the All Blacks six years earlier, the Lions found New Zealand out for revenge as they went down 3-1. Read More

  • Willie John McBride leads out the British and Irish Lions

    Lions tour 1974

    The most successful Lions team in history travelled to South Africa for a bruising series but ran out victors. Read More

  • British and Irish Lions star Barry John goes on the attack against New Zealand

    Lions tour 1971

    A star was born on the 1971 British and Irish Lions tour as the squad won their first series in New Zealand in three-quarters of a century. Read More

  • British and Irish Lions Lions captain Tom Kiernan was the star for the 1968 side

    Lions tour 1968

    Another injury-ravaged British and Irish Lions team were easily brushed aside by South Africa, but installed the fighting spirit that had gone missing against New Zealand two years before. Read More

  • British Lions captain Mike Campbell-Lamerton during the first Test match against Australia in Sydney

    Lions tour 1966

    A gruelling tour, which included trips to Australia and Canada, left the Lions exhausted as New Zealand recorded their first-ever four-Test whitewash. Read More

  • Lions ace Dewi Bebb (l) tackles South Africa's Francois Roux during the second Test in Durban

    Lions tour 1962

    A low-scoring series ended without the British and Irish Lions winning a single Test as they lost 3-0 to South Africa. Read More

  • The 1924 squad at Waterloo ahead of their tour to South Africa

    Lions tour 1888-1959

    The Lions began life with humble beginnings in 1888, with sporting entrepreneurs Alfred Shaw and Arthur Shrewsbury putting together a 22-man squad from England, Scotland and Wales for a marathon 54-match tour New Zealand and Australia. Read More