Sir Clive Woodward took a record 45-man playing squad to New Zealand.
But with Iain Balshaw withdrawing from the original party before departure and Malcolm O'Kelly and Simon Taylor forced out of the tour without playing a match, 48 players have donned the Lions jersey over the past six weeks.
Here we give our verdict on how each of them performed (with a rating out of 10).
Josh Lewsey scored two tries in an impressive tour
Josh Lewsey - 6 starts (3 Tests). 7
Showed his class early on and remained resolutely defiant despite being shunted around.
Geordan Murphy - 6 starts (1 Test). 6
Belatedly got a Test call after sharp, if not wholly convincing, outings for second string.
Jason Robinson - 4 starts (2 Tests). 4
Tour to forget. Dropped for first time in union after lack of form exposed in first Test.
Mark Cueto (Pre-tour replacement) - 4 starts (1 Test), 1 rep. 6
Off the radar after early start but patience and form rewarded with final Test outing.
Denis Hickie - 4 starts. 5
Never got into Test contention but grafted well for midweek side without great reward.
Shane Horgan - 1 start, 6 reps (3 Tests). 6
Only given one chance to prove worth but strong displays off bench when called upon.
Gareth Thomas - 4 starts (3 Tests). 7
Showed finishing nous with tries and character shone through leading side in adversity.
Shane Williams - 4 starts (1 Test). 6
Size a handicap in big games but attacking flair and six tries a joy against lesser lights.
Gordon D'Arcy - 4 starts, 2 reps. 4 Picked on 2004 form and despite improving as tour progressed, failed to recapture it.
Will Greenwood - 4 starts (1 Test), 1 rep (1 Test). 5
Finally played in a Lions Test on third tour, but experience not enough to mask demise.
Gavin Henson - 4 starts (1 Test). 6
Victim of selection folly, handed Test chance too late, ended tour dazed and confused.
Brian O'Driscoll - 4 starts (1 Test). 5
Try apart, captain failed to show true class before tour ended in controversial fashion.
Tom Shanklin - 2 starts, 1 rep. 7
Impressed in early games, would surely have featured in Tests but for untimely injury.
Ollie Smith - 3 starts, 1 rep. 5
Didn't do enough to challenge for Tests but invaluable experience despite rib injury.
Charlie Hodgson - 4 starts. 7
Ended tour concussed but orchestrated several midweek victories. The form fly-half.
Stephen Jones - 3 starts (2 Tests), 2 reps (1 Test). 5
Always on the back foot in the big matches and struggled to lift the siege around him.
Ronan O'Gara - 2 starts, 5 reps (1 Test). 6
Superb tactical kicking proved vital on occasion but defensive weakness hindered him.
Jonny Wilkinson - 3 starts (2 Tests). 5
Pitched into thick of it without enough games and struggled to exert his old authority.
Gareth Cooper - 1 start, 2 reps. 3
A peripheral figure with barely two halves of rugby, and one of those was forgettable.
Cusiter was third-choice scrum-half behind Peel and Dawson
Chris Cusiter - 3 starts, 2 reps. 7
Three strong outings and unlucky not to feature more, the Scot can be proud of his tour.
Matt Dawson - 2 starts, 4 reps (2 Tests). 6
Commendable contribution with limited game time; at combative best when called upon.
Dwayne Peel - 5 starts (3 Tests). 7
Maintained Six Nations form and emerged with credit after nailing down Test spot.
John Hayes - 4 starts. 4
Struggled against mediocre opposition but kept battling for cause despite limitations.
Gethin Jenkins - 5 starts (3 Tests), 2 reps. 7
Heavily involved and confirmed his arrival as top-class prop by playing all three Tests.
Graham Rowntree - 3 starts, 2 reps (2 Tests). 6
Strong scrummaging from veteran earned him Test bench spot ahead of younger rivals.
Andrew Sheridan - 2 starts, 3 reps. 6
Could have been a potent Test weapon if not for untimely ankle injury. Showed promise.
Matt Stevens - 3 starts, 3 reps. 4
Struggled to assert himself when might have been expected to challenge. Disappointing.
Julian White - 5 starts (3 Tests). 5
Started all the Tests but failed to find sufficient power to trouble All Blacks. Frustrating.
Gordon Bulloch - 4 starts, 2 reps (1 Test). 6
Led midweekers well three times; unlucky to only make brief appearance in final Test 22 after committed displays.
Shane Byrne - 3 starts (2 Tests), 3 reps (1 Test). 5
Got Test nod for line-out accuracy but horror show in Christchurch coloured his tour.
Steve Thompson - 2 starts (1 Test), 3 reps (1 Test). 6
Welcome return to buccaneering best in second Test. Good sign after recent troubles.
Andy Titterrell - 2 starts, 1 rep. 4
Started and ended as fourth-choice hooker. Struggled at line-out, a learning experience.
Brent Cockbain (Replacement) - 2 reps. 6
Late summons to replace Grewcock, enjoyed two robust halves as midweek replacement.
Danny Grewcock - 2 starts, 2 reps (1 Test). 4
Banned for third time in New Zealand, this time for biting. Indiscipline cost a Test spot.
Ben Kay - 4 starts (1 Test). 4
Lacklustre form exposed in dismal first Test, and punch in the eye capped a sorry tour.
Donncha O'Callaghan - 6 starts (2 Tests). 7
Quiet industry and impressive maturity allowed him to claim Test spot as others wilted.
Paul O'Connell - 5 starts (3 Tests). 6
Mixed bag. Showed he had the heart for the fight but indiscipline proved costly in Tests.
Simon Shaw (Replacement) - 5 starts. 6
Sterling efforts after early call to replace O'Kelly. Unfortunate not to make Test squad.
Neil Back - 2 starts (1 Test), 1 rep. 5
Awarded Test place after one tour outing, but unhappy end to great career when he was dropped.
Martin Corry - 4 starts (1 Test), 4 reps (2 Tests). 6
Bore the heaviest load of anyone and paid for it with Test place despite leadership role.
Lawrence Dallaglio - 1 start. 7
Losing the great warrior so early was a crippling blow. Left a huge void in leadership.
Easterby was one of the star players despite his late arrival
Simon Easterby (Replacement) - 4 starts (2 Tests), 1 rep. 8
Surprise choice to replace Dallaglio but enhanced his reputation with stirring defiance.
Richard Hill - 3 starts (1 Test). 5
Serious injury ill-fitting end to Lions career. Strong opening but struggled to stem tide.
Ryan Jones (Replacement) - 3 starts (2 Tests), 1 rep (1 Test). 8
Starring role on debut against Otago catapulted him into Test side. Strong and intelligent.
Lewis Moody - 4 starts (2 Tests). 6
Pity injury prevented him challenging for first Test spot. Earned his spurs in adversity.
Michael Owen - 5 starts, 1 rep. 5
Handling skills shone at times but impact diminished as bigger tests overwhelmed him.
Jason White (Replacement) - 1 start. 6
Late summons, can at least call himself a Lion after 54 minutes of toil against Auckland.
Martyn Williams - 6 starts, 1 rep (1 Test). 6
Impressed with his graft and energy but struggled with physicality of breakdown battle.