British and Irish Lions

british & irish lions crestThe British and Irish Lions are a rugby team composed of international players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who tour against Southern Hemisphere sides primarily of South African, Australian and New Zealand opposition, though Lions have also toured against Canada, Fiji.

While the ‘British Lions’ moniker was only formally adopted on the 1950 tour of Australia and New Zealand, the name had been used by journalists since the 1924 tour of South Africa, and combined representative teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales first toured in 1888. The British and Irish Lions originally played in a predominantly blue strip, but changed to a red and white strip for the 1950 tour of New Zealand. Irish forward Willie remains the British and Irish Lions’ most-capped player, making 17 Test appearances.

The British and Irish Lions’ most recent tour was of Australia in 2013. The Lions played three Tests against the Wallabies, as well as a number of tour matches. They took on the Barbarians in Hong Kong, each of the five Australian Super Rugby franchises and a ‘combined country’ outfit.

The Lions had a very successful tour, winning the Test series against Australia 2-1, clinching it in the third match at ANZ Stadium in Sydney with a 41-16 victory while only dropping a single tour match against the Brumbies.

The 41-16 victory followed a winning 23-21 start at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, before they lost 16-15 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

Israel Folau of the Wallabies goes up against George North of the Lions.

Following a highly successful 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign as coach Wales, Warren Gatland coached the side on their 2013 tour and will continue in the roll for their 2017 tour of New Zealand.

The 2017 tour of New Zealand included a three-match Test series against the All Blacks, with the games played on June 24 in Auckland, July 1 in Wellington and July 8 back in Auckland. The Lions, as they did in 2013 played seven tour games, including one against each of the New Zealand Super Rugby franchises.

The Lions drew the Test series 1-1. After the sides split the first two games, the third ended in a 15-all draw.

The last time the British and Irish Lions toured New Zealand was in 2005, with the Kiwis cruising to a 3-0 series victory against a hapless Lions outfit.

Click here for their upcoming matches: 2017 British and Irish Lions: full fixtures

Last updated: 18 July, 2017

British and Irish Lions Articles

Ireland and England: Lions recovery and player management (helping Ireland win the Grand Slam?)

Ireland and England: Lions recovery and player management (helping Ireland win the Grand Slam?)

by , 27 Mar 2018

The Six Nations finale was meant to be a head-to-head between Eddie Jones’ resurgent England and a powerful Ireland.

“I hated the tour”: Warren Gatland quits as Lions boss

“I hated the tour”: Warren Gatland quits as Lions boss

by , 18 Oct 2017

Warren Gatland has ruled himself out of contention to coach the British and Irish Lions in 2021.

Will the real threat to the All Blacks come from the North in 2019?

Will the real threat to the All Blacks come from the North in 2019?

by , 27 Sep 2017 Popular article!

A lot can change in a couple of months. The All Blacks’ drawn series against the British and Irish Lions already seems like a distant memory, and normal service has been resumed with something of a vengeance in the Rugby Championship.

Why a rush defence will not upset the All Blacks

Why a rush defence will not upset the All Blacks

by , 19 Aug 2017

A rush defence will not undo the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship – and it didn’t for the Lions series.

Lions rock New Zealand

Lions rock New Zealand

by , 13 Jul 2017

It was an epic tour. Faith No More, almost epic. Emotions were high with so much at stake in a 12-year event.

Lions series reflections: The day of the Faz

Lions series reflections: The day of the Faz

by , 12 Jul 2017 Popular article!

At the Allianz stadium in North London, home of European champion club Saracens, the core of the faithful have a unique way of assisting attempts on goal by their own kickers.

All Blacks and Lions play out an epic, creating a drawn series for the ages

All Blacks and Lions play out an epic, creating a drawn series for the ages

by , 10 Jul 2017 Popular article! Video

The New Zealand All Blacks (15) and British and Irish Lions (15) played out a magnificent drawn Test at Eden Park to conclude one of the great rugby series.

The Wrap: Lions draw series, is rugby’s power shift north on?

The Wrap: Lions draw series, is rugby’s power shift north on?

by , 10 Jul 2017 Popular article! Video

Anyone who follows rugby knows that commercial power in the game is held in the northern hemisphere and that, historically, the on-field strength resides in the south.

With the series now done and dusted, it’s clear the Lions were underestimated

With the series now done and dusted, it’s clear the Lions were underestimated

by , 10 Jul 2017

A few months ago I dared to suggest that the Lions may win the series against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

The High Five: All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions, third Test

The High Five: All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions, third Test

by , 9 Jul 2017 Popular article!

The British and Lions have drawn the curtain on their 2017 New Zealand tour, drawing the third Test match against New Zealand in a tense and enthralling affair in front of over 48,000 fans at Eden Park in Auckland, the match ending in a 15-all draw.


Older Articles »

Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

The Crowd Says (5)

  • February 3rd 2013 @ 8:37am
    kombiutedriver said | February 3rd 2013 @ 8:37am | ! Report

    Interesting to know just how many tickets were available to the average spectator in each venue?

  • May 4th 2013 @ 11:55pm
    LionRampant said | May 4th 2013 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

    “The last time the British and Irish Lions met the Wallabies was in 2001 when a highly fancied Lions team led by Sir Clive Woodward”
    Not quite. Clive Woodward got his “K” after the 2003 debacle when your lot let England win the World Cup. And it was Graham Henry who led the Lions in 2001. Clive was one of the Quisling-folk sniping at the Lions for everything they did.

  • May 24th 2013 @ 12:58am
    Richard Egan said | May 24th 2013 @ 12:58am | ! Report

    The wallabies Vs. B&I Lions. Who are the referees for the series?,
    . Does any body know? Jourbet, the South African ? Forget me if yes. Like going to Kindergarten, or a good walk spoilt by hitting a ball, Golf, Springs to mind. I personally believe Steve Walsh to be the best referee running around at present but as this will not be acceptable to the B&I Lions then beg Paddy Obrien to make a comeback. Jourbet is a waste of space when trying to extricate Rugby from executive over regulation & wants to be “Star of the show”. Wayne Erricson could also read a game better than Joubert. Do not know enough about Northern Referees to pass judgement. However no South Africa should referees even marbles.

    • June 9th 2013 @ 10:00pm
      Superba said | June 9th 2013 @ 10:00pm | ! Report

      Steve Walsh . Paddy o Brien . You must be kidding .Hardly unbiased refs. Wayne Ericcson ? OMG . Walsh has had some shockers this season . Joubert . I don’t know . But if I were French I would not want him . watch YouTube ” autopsy of a final ” to see why .

  • July 2nd 2013 @ 3:25pm
    dalobsta said | July 2nd 2013 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

    At one point in game 2 the Wallabies tried a rolling maul and the Lions cleverly split it and drove it over the sideline.
    Several Lions joined in the side (from the open side) but where was Joubers? Standing on the sideline with his assistant.
    Not his best game… Fortunately I think the stuffups more or less equaled out…

Have Your Say



If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.