British Lions Tour 1971. Rampant Lions Book Preview. Written by Terry McLean.

Here’s the Book Preview – British Lions Tour 1971. Rampant Lions by Terry McLean Book Preview.

In 1971 the Lions toured New Zealand. Also playing two matches in Australia. Despite losing the first match to Queensland. The tour was a great success. The Lions winning the Test series against the All Blacks. They are still the only Lions side to have won a Test series in New Zealand. The side was captained by John Dawes. And coached by Carwyn James. And managed by Doug Smith.

Strong Wales Team critical to success

Although the Lions had done poorly when touring New Zealand in 1966. They lost all four Tests to the All Blacks. The seeds had been sown for the successful series of 1971. Wales had won the Grand Slam in the Five Nations Championship in 1971. And appropriately supplied more players than any other home nation to the touring squad. Both the coach and captain were also Welsh. This was the only tour to result in a Lions victory over the All Blacks.

Unsettled All Black Team Selections

New Zealand, after a long period of success, had lost their most recent series in 1970 away to South Africa. The All Blacks were very different from the settled, tested team of the late 1960s. Only the 35-year-old Meads. Still a formidable presence. But inevitably past his very best, remained. None of the All-Black pack was a poor player. Peter Whiting and Tane Norton. Newcomers at lock and hooker, would be excellent. But only flanker Ian Kirkpatrick was a proven world-class player in his prime.

Exceptional British Lions Tour 1971 Backline

But it was Lions exceptional back-line that would take their chances in the Test matches. The Wales half-back partnership of Gareth Edwards and Barry John. The classical Centre pairing of Ireland’s Mike Gibson and Wales’s John Dawes. On the wings John Bevan, Gerald Davies and England’s David Duckham shared the jerseys. And at full back JPR Williams was rock-solid as usual.

Terry McLean’s book Rampant Lions looks at the tour from a New Zealand perspective.

Where to buy Rampant Lions Book by Terry McLean.

This great historical book is available from AMAZON.  Also, we’ve recently launched our 1971 British Isles Lions Shirt. In addition, offer a stylish Vintage British Isles XV Clothing collection to VIEW