1971 | Australia & New Zealand

Lions Team 1971 New Zealand & AustraliaIn 1971, the Lions got it right. The team led by John Dawes, managed by Doug Smith and coached by Carwyn James, became the first Lions to win a series in New Zealand in almost three-quarters of a century of trying. They remain the only Lions side to do so.

They actually lost the first of the two warm-up matches they played in Australia but suffered only one further defeat in the entire 26-match tour and won the Test series 2-1, with the final international drawn.

The Lions selectors made a bold decision in appointing James, who had never been asked to coach his native Wales. But the progressive, innovative thinking that had held him back at home proved the key to creating one of the two great Lions sides.
Having won the Grand Slam in 1971, Wales contributed the largest contingent of players, including the likes of Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Gerald Davies, JPR Williams, John Bevan, Mervyn Davies, Delme Thomas, John Taylor and the uncapped Derek Quinnell.

The calibre of recruits from the three other nations was not bad either, including David Duckham, John Pullin and Peter Dixon of England, Ireland's Mike Gibson, Willie John McBride, Ray McLoughlin and Fergus Slattery, and Scots Ian McLauchlan and Gordon Brown.

In 1950 and 1959, the Lions had possessed stellar back divisions but had been overpowered up front. Now they had a backline to compare with any of their predecessors allied to a pack that could match the All Blacks for possession.

For all their talent, one player still stood out. Barry John attained superstar status on the tour with the range of his kicking repertoire and the grace with which he ghosted through the walls of defence ranged against him. His 188 points remains a Lions record for one tour.

The Lions were under the cosh for long periods of the opening Test but prevailed 9-3 thanks to a McLauchlan try and two penalties from John. They lost the second meeting 22-12 but refused to panic, as they knew they had been way below their best.

They proved as much in the third Test, in which they produced an outstanding performance controlled by the regal John, who contributed a try, two conversions and a drop goal to a 13-3 victory, with Gerald Davies scoring the visitors' other try.

Tension peaked in the final Test, in which the Lions needed to avoid defeat to win the series. It wasn't a classic, but the 14-14 draw was all the tourists needed. A Dixon try, two penalties and a conversion from the boot of John, topped by a 45-metre drop goal from JPR proved sufficient for the Lions to make history.
12/05/1971
Queensland Reds
Queensland Reds 15-11 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Queensland Reds
Queensland Reds
Ballymore
15/05/1971
NSW Waratahs
NSW Waratahs 12-14 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A NSW Waratahs
NSW Waratahs
Sydney Cricket Ground
22/05/1971
Counties/Thames Valley
Counties/Thames Valley 3-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Counties/Thames Valley
Counties/Thames Valley
Pukekohe Stadium
26/05/1971
Wanganui/King County
Wanganui/King County 9-22 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wanganui/King County
Wanganui/King County
Spriggens Park
29/05/1971 14:30
Waikato
Waikato 14-35 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Waikato
Waikato
Rugby Park
02/06/1971
New Zealand Maori
New Zealand Maori 12-23 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand Maori
New Zealand Maori
Eden Park
05/06/1971
Wellington
Wellington 9-47 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wellington
Wellington
Athletic Park
09/06/1971 14:30
S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago
S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago 6-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago
S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago
Fraser Park
12/06/1971
Otago
Otago 9-21 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Otago
Otago
Carisbrook
16/06/1971
West Coast/Buller
West Coast/Buller 6-39 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A West Coast/Buller
West Coast/Buller
Rugby Park
19/06/1971
Canterbury
Canterbury 3-14 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Canterbury
Canterbury
Lancaster Park
22/06/1971
Marlborough/Nelson Bays
Marlborough/Nelson Bays 12-31 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Marlborough/Nelson Bays
Marlborough/Nelson Bays
Lansdowne Park
26/06/1971
New Zealand
New Zealand 3-9 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand
New Zealand
Carisbrook
30/06/1971
Southland
Southland 3-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Southland
Southland
Rugby Park
03/07/1971 14:30
Taranaki
Taranaki 9-14 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Taranaki
Taranaki
Rugby Park
06/07/1971
NZ Universities
NZ Universities 6-27 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A NZ Universities
NZ Universities
Athletic Park
10/07/1971
New Zealand
New Zealand 22-12 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand
New Zealand
Lancaster Park
14/07/1971
Wairarapa/Bush
Wairarapa/Bush 6-27 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wairarapa/Bush
Wairarapa/Bush
Memorial Park
17/07/1971
Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay 6-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay
McLean Park
21/07/1971
Poverty Bay/East Coast
Poverty Bay/East Coast 12-18 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Poverty Bay/East Coast
Poverty Bay/East Coast
Rugby Park
24/07/1971 14:30
Auckland
Auckland 12-19 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Auckland
Auckland
Eden Park
31/07/1971 14:30
New Zealand
New Zealand 3-13 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand
New Zealand
Athletic Park
04/08/1971 14:30
Manawatu/Horowhenua
Manawatu/Horowhenua 6-39 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Manawatu/Horowhenua
Manawatu/Horowhenua
Showgrounds Oval
07/08/1971
North Auckland
North Auckland 5-11 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A North Auckland
North Auckland
Okara Park
10/08/1971
Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty 14-20 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty
Domain
14/08/1971
New Zealand
New Zealand 14-14 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand
New Zealand
Eden Park
SurnameFirst namePlayedPointsLast appearance
ArneilRodger17010/08/1971
BevanJohn147210/08/1971
BiggarAlistair103610/08/1971
BrownGordon41 +13610/09/1977
CarmichaelSandy16423/07/1974
DaviesGerald194914/08/1971
DaviesMervyn273227/07/1974
DawesJohn192314/08/1971
DixonPeter151214/08/1971
DuckhamDavid16 +14414/08/1971
EdwardsGareth37 +16127/07/1974
EvansGeoff6410/08/1971
GibsonMike67 +112409/08/1977
HillerBob1921610/08/1971
HipwellMick6019/06/1971
HopkinsChico10 +1410/08/1971
JohnBarry2119414/08/1971
LaidlawFrank27 +1010/08/1971
LewisArthur9 +1807/08/1971
LynchSean15014/08/1971
McBrideWillie John701327/07/1974
McLauchlanIan30427/07/1974
McLoughlinRay22719/06/1971
PullinJohn27014/08/1971
QuinnellDerek32 +21208/07/1980
ReaChris9 +11210/08/1971
RobertsMike9 +2010/08/1971
SlatteryFergus24 +13227/07/1974
SpencerJohn101604/08/1971
StevensStack6010/08/1971
TaylorJohn202214/08/1971
ThomasDelme41 +3914/08/1971
WilliamsJPR27 +23027/07/1974
Overall Stats
Played26Biggest Win47 - 9 (British & Irish Lions v Wellington 1971)
Total Points Scored580Most Points In A Match47 (British & Irish Lions v Wellington 1971)
Total Tries Scored95Most Tries In A Match9 (British & Irish Lions v Wellington 1971)
Total Conversions Scored59Most Conversions In A Match7 (British & Irish Lions v Wellington 1971)
Total Penalty Goals Scored46Most Penalty Goals In A Match6 (British & Irish Lions v Maori All Blacks 1971)
Total Drop Goals Scored13Most Drop Goals In A Match2 (British & Irish Lions v Taranaki 1971)
Most Appearances9 (Dan Cole)Highest Attendance57,500
Top Points Scorer114 (Leigh Halfpenny)Total Home Attendance787,968
Top Try Scorer4 (Alex Cuthbert)
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