British Lions: 1904 – Australia and New Zealand

The tour in 1904 was the first British & Irish Lions tour to play tests in both Australia and New Zealand. The tourists were led by¬† David Bedell-Sivright a Scottish international forward who had travelled to South Africa with the squad the previous year and managed by Arthur O’Brien, with the tour taking in a total of 19 match’s. 14 in Australia and 5 in New Zealand, of these 3 in Australia were test match’s and 1 in New Zealand.

The Lions won the series in Australia 3-0, with only three points conceded in wins of 17-0,17-3 and 16-0. However, they did not do so well in New Zealand where they lost the only test 3-9. The other games on this tour saw the tourists win all the match’s in Australia and beat Canterbury and Otago in New Zealand before the test and then go on to draw with a combined Taranaki, Ranganui and Manawatu side 0-0. They then lost the final game of the tour against Auckland 0-13. This tour exposed the lack of powerful forwards and as an invitational side, still lacked a raft of international players from the home unions. It did however contain five quality Welsh backs in Tommy Vile, Percy Bush, Rhys Gabe, Edward Morgan and William Llewellyn.