1968 | South Africa

Lions Team 1968 South AfricaThe 1960s were mainly anything but swinging for the Lions. But, as the decade came to its close, they finally began to regain a little of their rhythm, on and off the pitch. Tom Kiernan's 1968 tourists may have lost the Test series against South Africa 3-0 with one match drawn, but they re-established the Lions spirit that had been sapped by the trials of 1966 and took the first small steps towards the successes of the 1970s.

The squad that assembled in Eastbourne contained such attacking talents as Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Mike Gibson and Gerald Davies, but arrived in South Africa facing the question of whether that quartet could still shine on the meagre possession to which their pack was expected to be rationed by the powerful Springbok eight.

Sadly, the Lions never found out. The party was ravaged by injury from start to finish and Edwards, John, Gibson and Davies never appeared in a Test team together, with John's tour being ended by a broken collarbone suffered early in the opening international. Gibson became the Lions, and international rugby's, first replacement in that game when he came onto the field to win what was to be the first of his 12 Test appearances for the Lions on five tours.

Although those losses drastically reduced their creative options behind the scrum, the squad still produced one of the Lions' best provincial records in South Africa. However, when it really mattered, in the Tests, they were always second best, stretched to breaking point by a Springbok pack containing such greats as Jan Ellis, Tommy Bedford and Piet Greyling in the back row and Frik du Preez at lock.

Although the Lions drew the second Test 6-6 and lost the first and third both by a mere five points, their hosts always had the upper hand, scoring eight tries to one over the four matches, winning the first international 25-20, the third 11-6 and the fourth 19-6. Only Kiernan's boot kept the Lions within touching distance as the Irish full-back thumped over a record 35 points in the Tests to account for all but three of his team's total. After the tribulations of 1966, though, at least some measure of pride had been restored.

18/05/1968
Western Transvaal
Western Transvaal 12-20 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Transvaal
Western Transvaal
Olen Park
22/05/1968
Western Province
Western Province 6-10 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province
Western Province
Newlands
25/05/1968 16:00
South Western Districts
South Western Districts 6-24 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Western Districts
South Western Districts
Van Rieebeck Ground
29/05/1968 15:30
Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings 14-23 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings
Boet Erasmus Stadium
01/06/1968 15:15
Natal
Natal 5-17 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Natal
Natal
King's Park
03/06/1968
Rhodesia
Rhodesia 6-32 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Police Ground
08/06/1968 01:00
South Africa
South Africa 25-20 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Loftus Versfeld
12/06/1968 16:00
North-West Cape
North-West Cape 5-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A North-West Cape
North-West Cape
Danie Kuys Stadium
15/06/1968
South West Africa
South West Africa 0-23 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South West Africa
South West Africa
South-West Stadium
18/06/1968 15:30
Transvaal
Transvaal 14-6 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Transvaal
Transvaal
Ellis Park
22/06/1968 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 6-6 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Boet Erasmus Stadium
29/06/1968
Eastern Transvaal
Eastern Transvaal 9-37 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Eastern Transvaal
Eastern Transvaal
PAM Stadium
03/07/1968
N-E Transvaal
N-E Transvaal 19-22 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A N-E Transvaal
N-E Transvaal
Loftus Versfeld
06/07/1968
Griqualand West
Griqualand West 3-11 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Griqualand West
Griqualand West
De Beers Stadium
08/07/1968
Boland
Boland 0-14 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Boland
Boland
Boland Stadium
13/07/1968 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 11-6 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Newlands
17/07/1968
Border Bulldogs
Border Bulldogs 6-26 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Border Bulldogs
Border Bulldogs
BRU Ground
20/07/1968
Orange Free State
Orange Free State 3-9 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Orange Free State
Orange Free State
Free State Stadium
22/07/1968
North-East Districts
North-East Districts 12-40 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A North-East Districts
North-East Districts
Cradock Rovers Ground
27/07/1968 15:15
South Africa
South Africa 19-6 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Ellis Park
SurnameFirst namePlayedPointsLast appearance
ArneilRodger17010/08/1971
BresnihanBarrie24 +22127/07/1968
ConnellGordon3027/07/1968
CoulmanMike10313/07/1968
DaviesGerald194914/08/1971
DoyleMick11622/07/1968
EdwardsGareth37 +16127/07/1974
GibsonMike67 +112409/08/1977
GoodallKen1329/06/1968
HillerBob1921610/08/1971
HinshelwoodSandy285422/07/1968
HortonTony12027/07/1968
JarrettKeith51822/07/1968
JohnBarry2119414/08/1971
JonesKeri6317/07/1968
KiernanTom22 +19627/07/1968
LarterPeter12022/07/1968
McBrideWillie John701327/07/1974
MillarSyd44920/07/1968
O'SheaJohn8622/07/1968
PullinJohn27014/08/1971
RaybouldBilly7622/07/1968
RichardsMaurice111527/07/1968
SavageKeith233327/07/1968
StaggPeter11027/07/1968
TaylorBob14627/07/1968
TaylorJohn202214/08/1971
TelferJim341827/07/1968
ThomasDelme41 +3914/08/1971
TurnerJock10 +11527/07/1968
WestBryan2020/07/1968
YoungJeff9022/07/1968
YoungRoger26917/07/1968
Overall Stats
Played20Biggest Win37 - 9 (British & Irish Lions v Eastern Transvaal 1968)
Total Points Scored377Most Points In A Match40 (British & Irish Lions v North-East Districts 1968)
Total Tries Scored55Most Tries In A Match7 (British & Irish Lions v North-East Districts 1968)
Total Conversions Scored31Most Conversions In A Match5 (British & Irish Lions v Eastern Transvaal 1968)
Total Penalty Goals Scored42Most Penalty Goals In A Match5 (British & Irish Lions v South Africa 1968)
Total Drop Goals Scored8Most Drop Goals In A Match2 (British & Irish Lions v Eastern Province Kings 1968)
Most Appearances9 (Dan Cole)Highest Attendance75,000
Top Points Scorer114 (Leigh Halfpenny)Total Home Attendance604,100
Top Try Scorer4 (Alex Cuthbert)
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