1977 British Lions tour to New Zealand


1977 British Lions tour to New Zealand

In 1977 the British Lions rugby union team toured New Zealand. The Lions played 26 matches, including four internationals against the All Blacks. They lost the series against the All Blacks by three matches to one. The team played as the British Isles in their internationals against the All Blacks and the British Lions for the non-international games.

The Lions tourists left London on 10 May 1977 and returned on 19 August. Of their 26 matches on tour, they won 21 and lost 5. Although the Lions lost the test series against the All Blacks they were level 1-1 after the second international and came close to drawing the series; they led 9-6 going into injury time in the fourth test only to concede a match-winning try scored by Lawrie Knight.

Outside the test series, the Lions beat all their New Zealand provincial opponents as well as the NZ Maori and NZ Juniors representitive teams, losing only to the New Zealand Universities team four days before the first international - this was the first defeat for a Lions team since the 1971 tourists lost the second test to the All Blacks on the same Christchurch ground and ended an unbeaten run of thirty-nine matches for the Lions. On their way home the Lions stopped off to play the Fijian national team for the first time and suffered their fifth defeat of the tour.

A team selected from the 1977 British Lions touring party played one further match, against the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on 10th September 1977, to mark the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The Lions won by 23 points to 14, and the match was notable for being the first time that a British Lions team had played a "home" fixture. [ [http://www.swansearfc.co.uk/on_this_day_month.php?list=09 Swansea RFC website "on this day"] ]

quad

The touring party as originally announced contained 17 players from Wales (including the as-yet uncapped Elgan Rees and Brynmor Williams), 5 from England, 5 from Scotland and 3 from Ireland . Geoff Wheel had to withdraw on medical advice before the touring party left, being replaced by Moss Keane. Roger Uttley aggravated a back injury at the get-together prior to leaving and was subsequently replaced by Jeff Squire. Bill Beaumont, Charlie Faulkner and Alun Lewis joined the tour party later in New Zealand as replacements - Lewis never played international rugby for Wales or the Lions.

Management

* Manager George Burrell (Scotland)

* Coach John Dawes (Wales)

Backs

* Phil Bennett (Llanelli and Wales) Captain
* John D Bevan (Aberavon and Wales)
* David Burcher (Newport and Wales)
* Gareth Evans (Newport and Wales)
* Steve Fenwick (Bridgend and Wales)
* Mike Gibson (North of Ireland FC and Ireland)
* Bruce Hay (Boroughmuir and Scotland)
* Andy Irvine (Heriot's FP and Scotland)
* Alun Lewis (Cambridge University and London Welsh)
* Ian McGeechan (Headingley and Scotland)
* Dougie Morgan (Stewart's Melville FP and Scotland)
* Elgan Rees (Neath)
* Peter Squires (Harrogate and England)
* Brynmor Williams (Cardiff)
* JJ Williams (Llanelli and Wales)

Forwards

* Bill Beaumont (Fylde and England)
* Gordon Brown (West of Scotland and Scotland)
* Terry Cobner (Pontypool and Wales)
* Fran Cotton (Sale and England)
* Willie Duggan (Blackrock College and Ireland)
* Trevor Evans (Swansea and Wales)
* Charlie Faulkner (Pontypool and Wales)
* Nigel Horton (Moseley and England)
* Moss Keane (Lansdowne and Ireland)
* Allan Martin (Aberavon and Wales)
* Tony Neary (Broughton Park and England)
* Philip Orr (Old Wesley and Ireland)
* Graham Price (Pontypool and Wales)
* Derek Quinnell (Llanelli and Wales)
* Jeff Squire (Newport and Wales)
* Peter Wheeler (Leicester and England)
* Clive Williams (Aberavon and Wales)
* Bobby Windsor (Pontypool and Wales)

Results

The matches

First Test

rugbybox
date = June 18 1977
home = ru|NZL
score = 16 – 12
away = BILru
homescore = Try: Going
Johnstone
Batty
Con:
Williams (2)
awayscore = Pen: Bennett (3)
Irvine
stadium = Athletic Park, Wellington
attendance = 43,000
referee = P. McDavitt flagicon|NZL

NEW ZEALAND; Colin Farrell, Bryan Williams, Bruce Robertson, Bill Osborne, Grant Batty, Duncan Robertson, Sid Going, Brad Johnstone, Tane Norton (c), Kent Lambert, Andy Haden, Frank Oliver, Kevin Eveleigh, Ian Kirkpatrick, Lawrie Knight

LIONS; Irvine, Squires, Fenwick, McGeechan, J. J. Williams, Bennett (c), B. Williams, Orr, Windsor, Price, Martin, Keane, Cobner, T. Evans, Duggan

econd Test

rugbybox
date = July 9 1977
home = ru|NZL
score = 9 – 13
away = BILru
homescore = Pen: Williams (3)
awayscore = Try: J. J. Williams
Pen: Bennett (3)
stadium = Lancaster Park, Christchurch
attendance = 50,000
referee = B. Duffy flagicon|NZL

NEW ZEALAND; Colin Farrell, Bryan Williams, Bill Osborne, Lyn Jaffray, Mark Taylor, Doug Bruce, Sid Going, Brad Johnstone, Tane Norton (c), Billy Bush, Andy Haden, Frank Oliver, Kevin Eveleigh, Ian Kirkpatrick, Lawrie Knight

LIONS; Irvine, J. J. Williams, Fenwick, McGeechan, G. Evans, Bennett (c), B. Williams, Cotton, Wheeler, Price, Beaumont, Brown, Cobner, Quinnell, Duggan

Third Test

rugbybox
date = July 31 1977
home = ru|NZL
score = 19 – 7
away = BILru
homescore = Try: Kirkpatrick
Haden
Con: Wilson
Pen: Wilson (2)
Drop: Robertson
awayscore = Try: Duggan
Pen: Irvine
stadium = Carisbrook, Dunedin
attendance = 34,000
referee = D. Millar flagicon|NZL

NEW ZEALAND; Bevan Wilson, Bryan Williams, Bruce Robertson, Bill Osborne, Brian Ford, Doug Bruce, Lyn Davis, John McEldowney, Tane Norton (c), Billy Bush, Andy Haden, Frank Oliver, Graham Mourie, Ian Kirkpatrick, Lawrie Knight

LIONS; Irvine, J. J. Williams (rep McGeechan), Burcher, Fenwick, G. Evans, Bennett (c), B. Williams (rep Morgan), Cotton, Wheeler, Price, Beaumont, Brown, Cobner, Quinnell, Duggan

Fourth Test

rugbybox
date = August 13 1977
home = ru|NZL
score = 10 – 9
away = BILru
homescore = Try: Knight
Pen: Wilson (2)

awayscore = Try: Morgan
Con: Morgan
Pen: Morgan
stadium = Eden Park, Auckland
attendance = 58,000
referee = D. Millar flagicon|NZL

NEW ZEALAND; Bevan Wilson, Bryan Williams, Bruce Robertson, Bill Osborne, Brian Ford (rep Mark Taylor), Doug Bruce, Lyn Davis, John McEldowney (rep Billy Bush), Tane Norton (c), Kent Lambert, Andy Haden, Frank Oliver, Graham Mourie, Ian Kirkpatrick, Lawrie Knight

LIONS; Irvine, Rees, Fenwick, McGeechan, G. Evans, Bennett (c), Morgan, Cotton, Wheeler, Price, Beaumont, Brown, Neary, Squire, Duggan

Bibliography

*cite book |last=Thomas|first=Clem |authorlink=Clem Thomas|coauthors=updated by Thomas, Greg |title=The History of The British and Irish Lions|year=2005 |publisher=Mainstream Books |isbn=1-84-596030-0 |pages=pp175-183
*cite book |last=Hopkins |first=John |title=Life with the Lions - The Inside Story of the 1977 New Zealand Tour|year=1977 |month= |publisher=Stanley Paul & Co Ltd |isbn= 0091317401
*cite book |editor=Vivian Jenkins|title=Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1978-79|publisher=Macdonald and Jane's|isbn=035409047X|pages=pp18-31

References

External links

*cite web| url=http://www.rugbymuseum.co.nz/asp/container_pages/normal_menu/rmArticle.asp?IDID=158 |title=The 1977 Lions |publisher=rugbymuseum.co.nz |accessdate=2008-02-11


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