The British & Irish Lions

Tour to New Zealand 2017

HSBC | Principal Partner | British & Irish Lions | Tour to Australia 2013

1959 | Australia, New Zealand & Canada

Lions Team 1959 New Zealand, Australia & CanadaThe team that captain Ronnie Dawson and manager Alf Wilson led down under - and to Canada for two matches on the way home - retained a sixth of the personnel from the 1955 tour and 100% of its philosophy of all-out attack.

Tony O'Reilly, Jeff Butterfield and Dickie Jeeps were the survivors behind the scrum, while Bryn Meredith, Hugh McLeod and Rhys Williams endured among the forwards. Further experience was offered by 1950 tourist Malcolm Thomas, while fresh attacking talent was added in the likes of Ken Scotland, Peter Jackson, David Hewitt and Bev Risman.

In the pack, Syd Millar made the first of his three tours alongside other powerful newcomers as Irish lock Bill Mulcahy, the Welsh duo of Roddy Evans and John Faull and future Lions coach Noel Murphy

O'Reilly shattered his own try-scoring record with 22, to end his remarkable Lions career with 38 tries in 38 appearances. Fellow wing Jackson ran him close with 19, as the tourists carried the game to all opponents, racking up more points than any previous Lions at an average of 25 a match.

The tour began in Australia, where the Lions easily defeated Australia in both Tests, by margins of 17-6 and 24-3. Across the Tasman, Dawson's men won all bar two of their provincial matches, the majority of them in style. But their adventure went unrewarded in the international series as they lost the rubber 3-1.

Heartbreak came early in the series as the Lions suffered their cruellest defeat, scoring four tries to the All Blacks' none but losing the first Test by a single point as New Zealand full-back Don Clarke kicked a world-record six penalties, the last to win the game just two minutes from time. That promoted one headline that stated: Clarke 18, Lions 17.

Injuries had begun to hit the Lions by the second Test and, without Risman, Hewitt, Jackson and Scotland, they were again beaten by Clarke - albeit this time with a spectacular try that sealed an 11-8 win. The powerful New Zealand pack came into its own in the third international, which the hosts won convincingly, 22-8, but the Lions regrouped to take the final Test and score only their second victory over New Zealand.

The tourists won 9-6 and, fittingly, by three tries to nil, with there being no more appropriate scorers than their three most outstanding backs: Jackson, O'Reilly and Risman.
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