The British & Irish Lions

Tour to New Zealand 2017

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John Dawes

John Dawes

DOB29th Jun 1940
BirthplaceChapel of Ease, nr Abercarn
Height1.78 m
Weight82 kg
PositionCentre
HonoursWales / Lions

One tour, four Tests (1971)

Coach: 1977

John Dawes saw both sides of the New Zealand rugby coin on his two tours as a Lion. On his first visit, in 1971, he captained the tourists to their first series win against the All Blacks; on his second, he endured the frustrations of a narrow defeat as coach of the 1977 side.

The London Welsh and Wales centre was the finest tactician of his age and the perfect on-field conduit for the ideas of Carwyn James in the Test series of 1971, which the Lions won 2-1 with the last match drawn.

A perceived lack of pace had limited his opportunities with Wales during the 1960s, but his faultless judgement and timing of a pass made him far more appreciated by his team-mates than the selectors. If JPR Williams or Gareth Edwards were unfit, the Arms Park crowd would emit a collective groan; if Dawes was out, the groaning would be coming from behind the dressing room door.

Dawes' success in turning London Welsh into one of the club game's top sides eventually earned him the captaincy of his country in 1970, and a Grand Slam the following year made him the first Welshman to lead the Lions.

His understanding with Barry John at stand-off and the direction he offered from the midfield were crucial influences on the Lions' victory in New Zealand , and he played in 19 of the 26 matches.

Dawes retired from international rugby after the tour and went on to coach Wales to one of their finest periods between 1974 and 1979. In the middle of that spell, he returned to New Zealand as coach of the 1977 Lions. This time, it would not be so happy an experience.

Despite the privations of the wettest, most miserable winter in memory, the attacks of a hostile press and a breakdown in relations with the travelling British media, the Lions went desperately close to at least sharing the series, beaten only by a last minute opportunist try by Lawrie Knight in the dying seconds of the final Test.

Current Season Stats

Date Opposition Tries Conv DG Pen YC RC Pts Mins
12/05/1971
Queensland Reds








15/05/1971
NSW Waratahs
1





4

26/05/1971
Wanganui/King County








29/05/1971
Waikato
1





4

05/06/1971
Wellington








12/06/1971
Otago
1





4

16/06/1971
West Coast/Buller








19/06/1971
Canterbury








26/06/1971
New Zealand








30/06/1971
Southland
1





4

06/07/1971
NZ Universities








10/07/1971
New Zealand








17/07/1971
Hawkes Bay








21/07/1971
Poverty Bay/East Coast


1



3

24/07/1971
Auckland
1





4

31/07/1971
New Zealand








04/08/1971
Manawatu/Horowhenua








07/08/1971
North Auckland








14/08/1971
New Zealand








Total Played 19 5
0
1
0
0
0
23
0

Previous Season Stats

CompetitionTeamPlayedTriesConvDGPenYCRCPts
1970-1971 - British & Irish Lions Tour
British & Irish Lions
19
5

1



23
1970-1971 Total

19
5

1



23
Total - British & Irish Lions Tour

19
5

1



23
Total

19
5
0
1
0
0
0
23
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