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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
History of the Lions: New Zealand 1983
By Sean Davies
BBC Sport

SQUAD AND STATISTICS
Tension between the northern and southern hemispheres was rising ahead of the 1983 tour.

There were increasing charges of professionalism levelled against the southern hemisphere giants and a gulf in the standard of play was perceived to be growing.

The 1983 trip went ahead, though at 18 games it was one of the shortest in living memory, with four Test matches packed into the demanding schedule.

The tourists were captained by Irish hooker Kieron Fitzgerald, who would face a difficult head-to-head against his opposite number, New Zealand captain Andy Dalton.

Fitzgerald's nomination as captain was controversial, as were a number of other selectorial choices, and injuries would further disrupt the party.

The tourists had their chances in the first Test at Christchurch, but a powerful performance by the pack was undone by poor finishing in the backs as the home side claimed a 16-12 win.

Ciaran Fitzgerald captained the Lions on the 1983 tour to New Zealand
Ciaran Fitzgerald captained the Lions on the 1983 tour
The Lions' lack of firepower was further illustrated in Wellington where they failed to score against New Zealand for the first time since 1950, resulting in a 9-0 defeat.

More missed chances and indiscipline in Dunedin saw the tourists to a 15-8 defeat, and a whitewash was widely predicted for the final Test at Eden Park.

The pundits were not wrong. An injury-depleted Lions side were destroyed 38-6 by an All Blacks team that would from the nucleus of the all-conquering 1987 World Cup side.




LIONS HISTORY
 

SEE ALSO
1983 Lions: Squad and results
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ


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