Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Lions tour 1983

1983 - Peter Winterbottom of the British Lions makes a break during the second Test against New Zealand

Peter Winterbottom makes a break during the second Test against New Zealand

1983 - Ollie Campbell of the British Lions clears the ball upfield as New Zealands Wayne Smith closes in during the second Test

Ollie Campbell clears the ball upfield as New Zealand's Wayne Smith closes in during the second Test

21st April 2013 19:12


1983 - Roy Laidlaw of the British Lions in action during the fourth Test against New Zealand

Roy Laidlaw in action during the fourth Test against New Zealand

Ireland's Triple Crown winner Ciaran Fitzgerald led the Lions down to New Zealand. The squad were coached by Jim Telfer and managed by Willie John McBride.

Injuries ravaged the squad and the intensity of the preparations was called into question as Roy Laidlow was promoted to first-choice scrum-half after injuries to Terry Holmes and then Nigel Melville.

Six warm-up games in 16 days resulted in five wins and one loss but the matches took their toll on the squad who were only out-classed in the final Test.

The Lions took a 9-6 lead into half-time in the first Test but the All Blacks ran out 16-12 victors after a Mark Shaw try swung match in their favour.

Conditions played their part in the second Test in Wellington as a gale swept through the area during the first half. The Lions had to restrict New Zealand to as low a score as possible and when they managed to go into the break 9-0 down, they were seen as clear favourites to take the match in the second half.

However, they failed to take advantage of the wind and could not find a way past the defence, with the All Blacks defence holding firm.

Two unconverted tries from Roger Baird and John Rutherford were not enough for the Lions to save the series in the third Test as New Zealand recorded a 15-8 victory.

The 'blackwash' was on and New Zealand were going all out to add humiliation to the Lions' series defeat.

The tourists were blown away by a masterclass of attacking prowess as New Zealand romped to a 38-6 win to emphasise their quality, running in six tries - including a hat-trick from Stu Wilson - in the process.1983

May 15 v Wanganui W 47-17
May 18 v Auckland L 12-13
May 21 v Bay of Plenty W 34-16
May 25 v Wellington W 27-19
May 28 v Manawatu W 25-18
May 31 v Mid Canterbury W 26-6
June 4 v New Zealand L 12-16
June 8 v West Coast W 52-16
June 11 v Southland W 41-3
June 14 v Wairarapa Bush W 57-10
June 18 v New Zealand L 0-9
June 25 v North Auckland W 21-12
June 28 v Canterbury L 20-22
July 2 v New Zealand L 8-15
July 6 v Hawke's Bay W 25-19
July 9 v Counties W 25-16
July 12 v Waikato W 40-13
July 16 v New Zealand L 6-38