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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 July, 2005, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Lions tour timeline
By Bryn Palmer

It seems like a long time ago that the Lions, led by Sir Clive Woodward and Brian O'Driscoll, landed fresh-faced in New Zealand.

As the Lions made their way across the country in the subsequent seven weeks, there have been highs, lows, injuries, call-ups, controversies and spear tackles.

BBC Sport looks at the main incidents that helped shape the 2005 tour.


27 May: Lions arrive in Auckland. Woodward says: "We have world-class players and the challenge is to try to blend them into a world-class side."

29 May: Lions' training ground is sealed off by an eight-foot high, red fence. A group of schoolchildren are kicked out. Lions receive traditional Maori welcome in Rotorua.

31 May: Lions hold open training session in front of 4,000 fans at Albany Stadium. Wales fly-half Stephen Jones arrives from France to join tour.

2 June: Irish lock Malcolm O'Kelly becomes first tour casualty after aggravating an abdominal injury. England's Simon Shaw summoned as a replacement.

4 June: Lawrence Dallaglio is stretchered off with a broken ankle 20 minutes into tour opener against Bay of Plenty. Josh Lewsey scores two of Lions' six tries in 34-20 win. Simon Easterby summoned as replacement for Dallaglio.

8 June: Martin Corry, captain against Taranaki, forgets to take Lions' toy mascot onto the field. But Charlie Hodgson orchestrates a 36-14 win, Geordan Murphy scoring twice.

10 June: Simon Taylor is forced to pull out of starting team with ongoing hamstring problem. Ryan Jones summoned from Wales tour as cover.

11 June: Lions are outgunned in 19-13 defeat to NZ Maori despite fielding largest front row (55 stone) ever. Vice-captain Paul O'Connell says: "Our line-out wasn't good, our work at the breakdown was a problem and our overall aggression wasn't good."

12 June: Simon Taylor ruled out of the tour. Jonny Wilkinson, Jason Robinson, Neil Back and Gareth Thomas named for first tour starts in strong side to face Wellington.

14 June: Reports emerge of training ground "fight" between Gordon Bulloch and John Hayes. It later transpires they merely clashed heads in some "old-fashioned rucking".

15 June: Prop Gethin Jenkins stars in a scratchy 23-6 win over Wellington. "The All Blacks would have scored 60 points against us," said Wellington coach John Plumtree.

16 June: Woodward believes people are wrong to doubt the Lions' ability, recalling England's World Cup campaign. "Unlike everyone else, I thought England had half a chance against France and I think this team has half a chance as well." He rejects claims the likes of Wilkinson and Robinson need more game time before first Test.

17 June: Lewis Moody is forced to pull out of side to face Otago in Dunedin with knee injury. Woodward upsets locals by cancelling scheduled match-day community activity.

18 June: Ryan Jones stars on first start as Lions beat Otago 30-19, finally showing some attacking rhythm late on. Woodward says he can "smell something special" emerging. He also praises the Welsh contingent, calling them the "heart-throb" of the team.

19 June: Woodward drops Welsh heart-throb Gavin Henson from Test team by selecting him for midweek match against Southland. A Lions press release quotes Henson saying "there is bound to be some disappointment at not being selected".

20 June: Henson admits he is "absolutely devastated" not to be in the first Test side.

21 June: Henson scores the only two Lions tries in a scruffy 26-16 win over Southland.

22 June: Woodward defends decision to pick Jonny Wilkinson at inside centre and Jason Robinson at full-back for first Test, two of 13 Englishmen in his 22. "It's down to me to make the big calls. It is about choosing people who perform best under pressure," says the coach.

25 June: The Lions lose captain O'Driscoll with a dislocated shoulder in the first minute and the first Test 21-3 after a calamitous line-out display in Christchurch. "I'm convinced I got the selection right and that we have a good team," Woodward says. He later calls a midnight press briefing to highlight the double "spear tackle" on O'Driscoll.

26 June: The citing commissioner decides All Blacks captain Tana Umaga and hooker Keven Mealamu have no case to answer over O'Driscoll but bans Danny Grewcock for two months for biting Mealamu. Woodward uses another press briefing to show replays of the incident on a video screen. Gareth Thomas is made the new Lions captain.

27 June: Woodward says: "In hindsight I may have made a couple of mistakes" (before first Test). He appears to make Corry and Robinson scapegoats for defeat by naming them in midweek side to face Manawatu.

28 June: Welsh wing Shane Williams scores five of the Lions 17 tries in a 109-6 rout of Manawatu, before Woodward decides his second Test team. "I don't know what he's going to do," says All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen. "I'm not sure he knows."

29 June: Woodward makes 11 changes, four positional, to team for second Test "I needed to shake it up and I've shaken it," he says. "I have been in these corners before but maybe not as tight as this. The only thing you can do is to come out fighting."

2 July: The Lions start brightly but are cut to shreds by All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter, conceding a record 48 points in the second Test and losing the series with it. Wilkinson is forced off after suffering another shoulder "stinger" trying to tackle Carter.

3 July: Wilkinson ruled out of third Test. Ex-Lion JPR Williams attacks Woodward. "He said this was the best prepared Lions team of all time. Well, they showed they're not," says the Welshman

4 July: Hansen says Lions' portrayal of O'Driscoll incident "drove us together". He adds: "Woodward has got it wrong in the way he's used (media adviser) Alastair Campbell. He would have been better off leaving him at home."

5 July: Lions' "Midweek Massive" restore pride with 17-13 victory over Auckland to maintain their 100% record, but Charlie Hodgson and Ben Kay join casualty list.

6 July: Graham Rowntree is cleared of punching an Auckland player but Lions forced to cancel training with six players definitely out of final Test and five more doubtful.

7 July: The team for the third Test is announced with another raft of changes in the backs. Geordan Murphy and Mark Cueto come in for their Lions Test debuts, with Will Greenwood returning at centre.

9 July: The changes make no difference as the Lions crash in the third Test, losing 38-19 at Eden Park. For the second Test running, the home side claim five tries and the Lions are left contemplating their first whitewash in 22 years.




LIONS TOUR 2005

ALL BLACKS WHITEWASH LIONS




VOTE RESULTS
What was the main reason for the Lions' whitewash in NZ?
All Blacks just too good
58%
Woodward's selections
30%
Injuries to key players
6%
Squad was too big
6%
97190 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed



SEE ALSO
Pick your Lions XV
24 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Lions tour venue guides
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Early history of the Lions
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Fixture list for Lions tour to NZ
08 Apr 05 |  Lions in NZ
Lions player profiles
25 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
All Blacks player profiles
25 May 05 |  Lions in NZ


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