1959 Australia & New Zealand Lions Tour

The Lions toured to Australia & New Zealand with Irishman Ronnie Dawson as skipper and Alf Wilson as Manager. The tour included five big names from the game who had been to south Africa in 1955, they were Tony O’Reilly, Jeff Butterfield and Dickie Jeeps from the backs and Bryn Meredith and Rhys Williams from the forwards. Also in the pack, Syd Millar made the first of his three tours alongside other powerful newcomers such as Scotland prop Hugh McLeod and Wales back-rower John Faull.

The Australian leg of the tour was the most successful as the Lions won both tests, with scores of 17-6 and 24-3 respectively. In New Zealand the provincial matchs were a great success as the Lions won all except two. The tests did not go so well mainly thanks to the New Zealand fullback Don Clarke, in the first test he kicked all 18 points whilst the Lions scored 4 tries but went down 18-17. The second test and injuries hampered the tourists as Clarke undid them this time with a try as the home side won 11-8. The powerful New Zealand pack came into its own in the third international, which the hosts won convincingly, 22-8, but the Lions regrouped to take the final Test and score only their second victory over New Zealand, 9-6 thanks to tries from Jackson, O’Reilly and Risman.

Don Clarke
Don Clarke

The Lions stopped of in Canada on the way home and played two matchs winning 16-11 against British Columbia and 70-6 against Eastern Canada.