1983 | New Zealand

The British

& Irish Lions

Tour to New Zealand 2017

1983 | New Zealand

Lions Team 1983 New ZealandOld failings returned to haunt the Lions in New Zealand in 1983, when the tourists joined the 1966 side as the only team to suffer a 4-0 whitewash in the Tests. The side captained by Ireland's Triple Crown winner Ciaran Fitzgerald, coached by two times Lions tourist Jim Telfer and managed by the greatest Lino of them all, Willie John McBride, suffered from some controversial selections, an itinerary of frightening intensity and the usual long line of casualties.

Roy Laidlaw - taking over at scrum-half after the loss of Terry Holmes - forged a neat partnership with Ollie Campbell, but the side struggled to develop cohesion in the three-quarters.

The All Blacks were an impressive team, who had both a quality pack and an abundance of scoring potential out wide. Nevertheless, the Lions were only outclassed in the final Test, when the rubber was already lost.
The opening international was desperately close, with New Zealand scoring the only try and edging the kicking competition between Campbell and Allan Hewson to win 16-12.

In the second Test, the Lions looked clear favourites after they conceded only nine first-half points while playing into the teeth of a Wellington gale. But with the wind in their favour, they failed to convert possession into points and fell to a masterclass in playing the conditions, losing by the interval score of 9-0.

Fitzgerald's team actually outscored the All Blacks by two tries to one in the third Test but were still edged out 15-8, before being blown away by an outstanding attacking performance that saw the hosts win the final international 38-6, their biggest victory against the Lions.