Lions by numbers (ii)

Here's the second installment of our look at the Lions by numbers, a numerical insight into the world's most-famous touring team. [more]

Lions by numbers (ii)

Here’s the second installment of our look at the Lions by numbers, a numerical insight into the world’s most-famous touring team.

In part one, we delved into the first 14 tours from 1888 until 1959 and now we’re looking at the 14 adventures from 1962 to the most recent trip to South Africa in 2009.

Names or initials such as Willie-John or JPR jump off the page when it comes to the lengthy history of Britain and Ireland’s elite but what about the numbers that are hidden beneath the surface?

The digits 71, 74 and 97 need no explaining but did you know that 15 is the number of the most conversions kicked by a Lion in a single match, 44.9 was the average Lions points tally across 10 fixtures in 2001, or that 5.5 was the boot size worn by 1966 outside-half and stand-in skipper David Watkins?

By the time you’ve finished reading, a few numbers as well as names might raise a smile or at least raise an eyebrow before the summer series with the Wallabies.

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1962 – South Africa

9 – Forwards over 15 stone (the 1955 Lions only had three)
60 – Yards raced by Ken Jones to score the equalizing try in the first Test
0 – Times tour captain Arthur Smith was dropped during his Scotland career
13 – Games played by David Rollo, the only Howe of Fife player ever to become a Lion
18 – Matches in which the opposition failed to take their score into double figures
8 – Points separating the Lions and Boks in the first three Tests (1 draw and 2 SA wins)
3 – Senior athletics medals won by Ken Jones, including a silver at the 1948 Olympics

1966 – Australia and New Zealand

1000 – Lapel badges brought out by the Lions – demand exceeded supply.
3 – Lions involved in a charity match following the death of a Wellington player during a game
5-1/2 – Size boots worn by David Watkins – he struggled to find new ones in Auckland
9 – Drop goals kicked by Watkins – a Lions record
73 – Cost in NZ dollars to replace a boy's bike crushed by a horse ridden by Mike Campbell- Lamerton in Westport
100 – Average number of letters received each day from fans
1.6km – Length of the Mooloo parade in Hamilton before the Waikato game

1968 – South Africa

35 – Points scored by Tom Kiernan in the Test series – a Lions record until 1993
10 – Stitches needed by Willie John McBride following the 1st Test after party
900 – Bill in pounds for hotel damages at the 3rd Test party – it had been halved and halved again
75,000 – Supporters who watched the 1st Test at Loftus Versfeld
37 – Points scored by the Lions against Eastern Transvaal despite John O’Shea being the first Lion to be sent off for foul play

1971 – New Zealand

0 – Series won by the Lions in New Zealand before and after 1971
43 – Percentage of players from Wales named in the original 30-man party
11 – Matches in which Barry John scored more than 10 points in his first 14 appearances
45 – Distance in metres of JPR Williams’ vital drop goal in the 4th Test
2 – Matches lost on tour – 23 were won and one was drawn
6 – Combined total of points conceded in the 1st and 3rd Tests against the All Blacks
112 – Points scored by Bob Hiller – the first man to pass a century on two tours
6 – Tries scored by David Duckham against West Coast / Buller
188 – Points scored by Barry John – the highest by any player on a single Lions tour
1 – Uncapped players on tour – that man was Llanelli’s Derek Quinnell
16.8 – Percentage of votes won by Lions coach Carwyn James when he stood as a Plaid Cymru candidate for Llanelli at the 1970 General Election


Barry John scored 188 points for the Lions on the triumphant tour of New Zealand in 1971

1974 – South Africa

0 – Games lost – the only unbeaten tour in Lions history
729 – Points scored by the Lions – the second highest in history.
33 – Average points scored in each match – the highest in Lions history in the amateur era
97- Points scored against South Western Districts, the highest by any touring team in SA
17 – Players used by the Lions in the Test series – 16 fewer than the Springboks
99 – The famous call that prompted a ‘one in, all in’ reaction during punch ups
79 – Minutes on the clock when Fergus Slattery’s try was disallowed in the drawn 4th Test
68 – Total games played for the Lions by 1974 captain Willie John McBride across five tours
15 – Conversions kicked by Alan Old against Mossel Bay – the most ever by a Lion
6 – Tries scored by JJ Williams against South West Districts, equaling Duckham’s record
2 – Tries scored by JJ in the 2nd and 3rd Tests – only the second time a Lion has scored twice in more than one Test

1977 – New Zealand

30 – Flights made by the Lions on the 26-match tour
40,000 – Miles traveled by the Lions across three continents
2,025,000 – Amount of revenue in NZ Dollars generated for the NZRU by the tour
13 – Points difference in the All Blacks’ favour across all four Tests
1 – Players who also appeared on the previous tour to New Zealand in 1971 – Derek Quinnell
8 – Players who also toured South Africa in 1974
125 – Points scored by Phil Bennett – the last player to score 100 points on two tours

1980 – South Africa

14 – Provincial games played and won by the Lions
8 – Replacements called up for injured players
5 – Changes to the Lions team between the 1st and 2nd Tests – all were in the backs
1 – Doctors on tour (Jack Matthews) – the first time a doctor had been part of a Lions party
0 – Games in which the Lions failed to take their score into double figures
267 – Total points scored for the Lions by Andy Irvine (31 in 1980) – more than any other player
5 – Tours made by 1980 tourist Mike Gibson – a joint record with Willie John McBride
18 – Points scored by Tony Ward in the 1st Test – still an individual Test record today
30 – Pairs of hands the ball went through for a try against a South African Invitational XV
1 – Foreign-based players on tour – Angouleme’s Maurice Colclough was the only overseas Lion in the 19th or 20th centuries

1983 – New Zealand

16 – Games in which the Lions conceded at least one try – there were 18 games on tour
45 – Points scored by Ollie Campbell in two provincial games in the space of four days
32 – Margin of defeat in the 4th Test – the highest margin in Lions history
3 – Tries scored by Stu Wilson in the 4th Test against the Lions – a joint record
46 – Test points scored by New Zealand’s Allan Hewson – the most by any Lions opponent
3 – All Blacks who wore gloves due to the horrific conditions for the 3rd Test
2 – Teams who stayed in the dressing room during the anthems for that encounter
5 – Minutes before Ollie Campbell had ‘numb hands, numb feet and a numb brain’ in that Test

1989 – Australia

1899 – Date of the last Lions adventure to tour Australia as a solitary venue
3 – Drop goals scored by Craig Chalmers against NSW – the most ever by a Lion
1 – Other Lions sides to have won a Test series after losing the 1st Test (1899)
30 – Points conceded in the 1st Test and then the 2nd and 3rd Tests combined
-10 – Lions’ points difference in three Tests – the Lions still won the series 2-1
3 – ‘B’ sides who faced the Lions – Australia B, Queensland B and New South Wales B
0 – Previous tours to select an assistant coach – Roger Uttley was the first
1 – Players who had previously toured with the Lions – Donal Lenihan was on his own


Roger Uttley became the Lions' first assistant coach when he was appointed for the 1989 tour of Australia

1993 – New Zealand

17 – Englishmen in the original 30-man squad
11 – Englishmen in the starting lineup for the 1st and 2nd Tests
28 – Losing margin against Waikato – the Lions’ heaviest defeat in a non-Test match
38 – Test points scored by Gavin Hastings, taking his Lions Test tally to a record 66
18 – Points scored by Hastings in the 1st Test to equal Tony Ward’s record
40 – Minutes former Lion Gareth Chilcott held a tourist afloat when their boat overturned
6.10 – Height in feet and inches of Martin Bayfield – officially the tallest-ever Lion
0 – Sets of brothers to have matched Gavin and Scott Hastings in touring twice together
79 – Minutes played in the 1st Test when the Lions were winning by a point
20 – Points scored by the Lions in the 2nd Test – a record against New Zealand
10 – Points by which the Lions led after 20 minutes in the 3rd Test – they lost 30-13

1997 – South Africa

2.5 – Tons of luggage taken on tour by the Lions
13 – Test penalties kicked by Neil Jenkins – a Lions record
41 – Points scored by Jenkins in the series – another record
8 – Screws in Jenkins’ broken arm from mid-March – they remained in place for the entire tour
39 – Points conceded against Northern Free State – the highest ever shipped by the Lions
67 – Points scored in that same match
0 – Uncapped Lions since Will Greenwood’s selection
6 – Ex Rugby League stars on tour – Gibbs, Bentley, Quinnell, Tait, Bateman and Young
1 – Non-Test matches in which Tim Stimpson scored less than 15 points in six appearances
10,000 – Amount in pounds paid to each Lion as a basic tour fee
5,500 – Bonus in pounds paid to each Lion for winning the series

2001 – Australia

44.9 – Average points scored by the Lions in 10 matches – the highest in history
11 – Test conversions kicked by Australia’s Matt Burke – a record against the Lions
44 – Series points scored by Burke – two short of Allan Hewson’s record
23 – Points scored by Manny Edmonds for Australia A – the most against the Lions in a non-Test
7 – Penalties kicked by Edmonds in that match – another record
116 – Points scored against Western Australia – the biggest tally in Lions history
18 – Tries scored in that match – another record
29 – Points scored by the Lions in the 1st Test – second only to the 31 against Australia in 1966
18 – Points scored by Jonny Wilkinson in that Test – matching Tony Ward and Gavin Hastings
2 – Tours for which 2001 skipper Martin Johnson was Lions captain – a feat as yet unmatched
5 – Tries scored by Jason Robinson on his Lions debut against a Queensland President’s XV

2005 – New Zealand

48 – Players used by the Lions – the most ever
22 – English players on tour – the highest representation from one country on a modern tour
29 – Staff on tour, ranging from coaches to legal support – again, the most ever
16 – Players with previous Lions experience
8 – Leicester players on tour – the highest representation from a single club since 1891
71 – Unanswered points scored by the Lions in the second half against Manawatu
0 – Mid-week matches lost by the Lions
2 – Saturday matches won by the Lions in five attempts
48 – Points conceded in the 2nd Test – the highest in any Lions match
33 – Dan Carter’s tally in that match – a record for any player against the Lions
109 – Matches since the Lions’ last draw before the pre-tour stalemate with Argentina
103 – Margin of victory against Manawatu – the Lions’ biggest-ever win

2009 – South Africa

3 – National captains not originally selected – Steve Borthwick, Ryan Jones and Mike Blair
8 – Tours completed by Sir Ian McGeechan – 2009, ‘05, ‘01, 1997, ‘93, ‘89, ‘77, ‘74
7 – Coaching and analysis staff from the Welsh Rugby Union
5 – Tours made by Doctor James Robson – 2009, ’05, ’01, 1997, ‘93
1 – Players to have made the previous Lions tour to South Africa – Simon Shaw
5 – Lions born overseas – Shaw, Riki Flutey, Nathan Hines, Jamie Heaslip and Ronan O’Gara
52 – Distance in metres of Morne Steyn’s last-gasp penalty to win the 2nd Test for the Boks
1 – Minutes gone in the 2nd Test when Schalk Burger ‘gouged’ Luke Fitzgerald
1 – Lions suspended during the tour – Nathan Hines, for one week for a dangerous tackle
9 – Lions whose tours were ended through injury
4 – Players who didn’t tour despite selection – Alan Quinlan, Jerry Flannery, Tomas O’Leary and Tom Shanklin
4 – Former Lions among the management – McGeechan, Gerald Davies, Rob Howley, Graham Rowntree and Neil Jenkins

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