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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
History of the Lions: New Zealand 1993
By Sean Davies
BBC Sport

Ian McGeechan became the first man to coach the Lions twice when he took the reins in 1993.

His tour manager was Geoff Cooke and the tourists' game was built upon England's forward power.

The men in white supplied a total of 17 players to the trip, their most ever.

Given that fact, it was a slightly controversial choice to make Gavin Hastings captain ahead of Will Carling but Scotland's full-back was full value.

The real controversy of the tour would surround England lock Wade Dooley.

He was flown home after his father's sudden death, but later wanted to rejoin the tour with the blessing of the New Zealand Rugby Union.

He was denied the chance by the four nations committee with reference to the International Rugby Board's regulations.

The Lions' overall tour record would note they lost six of their 13 games, but the Test series proved a real battle.

Christchurch was the venue for the first Test and there was anger from the Lions management when some bizarre refereeing decisions helped the All Blacks to a narrow 20-18 win.

The next two midweek games were lost, prompting criticisms of the midweek "dirt-tracker" side.

The Scottish-dominated front five were not deemed up to the job and the team lacked a leader of the calibre of Donal Lenihan - the famous captain of "Donal's Donuts" in 1989.

New Zealand were, therefore, hot favourites for the second Test in Wellington, but the big Lions forwards took control from the start.

With direction supplied by Rob Andrew and Dewi Morris at half-back, the tourists ran away with a record 20-7 victory.

It was all down to the final Test in Auckland and the All Blacks pulled out the stops.

Andy Hayden was called in to help coach their struggling lineout and they were able to work out how to nullify the Lions' 6ft 10 lock Martin Bayfield.

Scott Gibbs on the 1993 tour
Scott Gibbs on the 1993 tour
The home side also moved towards a more expansive game, keeping the ball in play rather than kicking to touch.

When it came to the crunch, the All Blacks simply outplayed and out-hustled the Lions, running away with a 30-13 success.

In his end-of-tour report McGeechan highlighted the different approaches to rugby by the northern and southern hemispheres.

He said the home union sides played a more static game in contrast to the southern sides' dynamism and continuity.


1993 Lions: Squad and results
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ

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