1989 | Australia

The British

& Irish Lions

Tour to New Zealand 2017

1989 | Australia

Lions Team 1989 AustraliaBy 1989, the Lions schedule had been trimmed further, to just 12 matches, and Australia had been deemed worthy of hosting an entire tour for the first time in exactly 90 years. Another piece of history would also be made in the Test series, as Finlay Calder's side became the first Lions to triumph after losing the opening match.

Managed by former Wales captain and coach Clive Rowlands, and tutored by Scotland 's Ian McGeechan, the Lions also introduced an assistant coach for the first time, with England 's Roger Uttley acting as number two as he teamed up with his former 1974 Lions series winning colleague.

The squad they worked with was as strong physically as it was technically, from the powerful Gavin Hastings at full back through to the combative Robert Jones at scrum-half and the hard English core of the forwards in Brian Moore, Paul Ackford, Mike Teague and Dean Richards.

As it turned out, they needed every ounce of toughness they had in a Test series of huge physical intensity. In the opener, the Wallaby pack held the whip hand and gave their half-backs the platform to create four tries and engineer a huge win by 30-12.

The Lions took heart from recovering from a 21-11 half-time deficit to beat ACT 41-25 before the second Test but were criticised for the hardness of their play in completing the comeback.

That storm was a squall compared to the criticism that awaited after Calder and Co squared the series with a bruising 19-12 win over the Wallabies in Brisbane. The first scrum erupted in a brawl and the Lions came out on top in the fierce battle the game became, although they required late tries from Gavin Hastings and Jeremy Guscott to do so.

Open warfare was predicted for the decider, but an exciting game of rugby broke out instead, decided on the scoreboard by Australia wing David Campese's error that gifted a try to his opposite number, Ieuan Evans, but in reality won by a performance of complete control from the Lions pack.

The Lions were hanging on as the Wallabies fought to the finish, but when the final whistle blew a 19-18 scoreline said they had made another piece of history.