As the British and Irish Lions rugby team continue their 2017 tour in New Zealand under the coaching of Warren Gatland, we take a look back at the triumphs of tours past and the Welsh heroes who ensured victories against the all-blacks.
‘Undefeated’ – The 1974 Lions
It was the summer of 1974, the British and Irish Lions rugby team returned from a twenty-two match, four-Test tour to the southern hemisphere achieving what no other side had ever done before. They returned unbeaten. The extreme conditions both politically and on the field meant that they bonded together like no other side in Lions history.
In ‘Undefeated – The Story of the 1974 Lions‘, Rhodri Davies charts the full journey of the ’74 Lions and asks difficult questions such as should they have gone to South Africa with international pressure being put upon the apartheid regime and the tour creating controversy and ostracism at home?
There is no denying Carwyn James’ achievements on the field representing Llanelli and Wales; his work as a coach to the British and Irish Lions and also his club Llanelli, which led to their victory against the All Blacks.
Carwyn James was a genius. He was also a tormented soul. The two sides of his life are explored in a new biography, Into the Wind – The Life of Carwyn James by Alun Gibbard, which contains new information and never-before-seen photographs.
This volume discusses all of those incredible achievements, but also raises a host of questions about issues such as his relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union and the BBC, as well as analysing the missed opportunity for him to coach his national team. It also fully addresses Carwyn’s battle with his sexuality, the lonely years in Italy and the period leading up to his tragic death in Amsterdam in 1983, at the age of just 53.
The post-war period saw top rugby players in Wales achieve the kind of fame once associated with Hollywood movie stars and few captured the headlines more often than Terry Davies. From the start of his rugby journey as a nervous 17 year old in Ebbw Vale, through the highs of touring New Zealand and beating the All Blacks and the lows of a career-threatening shoulder injury, Terry Davies: Wales’s First Superstar Fullback charts Terry Jones’ career to universal acclaim.
The often hilarious tale of a typical working-class upbringing and coming of age with the Royal Marines before finding glory on the rugby field – is as much a social commentary as a fascinating insight into the heydays of amateurism.
John Dawes is one of the rugby union’s greatest innovators, and the former London Welsh, Wales, British Lions and Barbarians captain.
In John Dawes: The Man who changed the world of Rugby, author Ross Reyburn looks at how a son from the Welsh Valleys brought his vision of attacking rugby to a worldwide audience, as well as putting into perspective what Dawes achieved as the key figure in British rugby’s renaissance in the 1970s. The book also provides a detailed account of the greatest Lions tour.
But how much do you really know?
Following on from the success and popularity of his other Quiz Books – The Rugby Union Quiz Book, Welsh Rugby Quiz Book, Six Nations Rugby Quiz Book and Welsh Sports Quiz, Matthew Jones’ The Lions Rugby Quiz Book has 50 rounds of ten questions from reasonably straightforward to the decidedly difficult.
Test your knowledge on the British and Irish Lions players, matches, backroom staff and other related trivia. Questions span from their very first tour in 1888 to the present day.
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