1980 British Lions tour to South Africa

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1980 British Lions Tour to South Africa
Date 10 May  – 12 July
Coach(es) Noel Murphy
Tour captain(s) England Bill Beaumont
Test series winners  South Africa (1–3)
Top test point scorer(s) Ireland Tony Ward (18)

In 1980 the British Lions rugby union team toured South Africa (including one game in Windhoek, South West Africa, the future Namibia). The tour was not a success in terms of international results, the Lions losing the first three tests before salvaging some pride with a win in the fourth. The team did however win all their 14 non-international matches The side was captained by Bill Beaumont.

Political controversy[edit]

The tour went ahead in the face of opposition from the British Government and groups opposed to sporting contact with the apartheid regime in South Africa. Britain was a signatory to the 1977 Gleneagles Agreement in which Commonwealth governments agreed to discourage sporting contacts with South Africa. The Government of the Republic of Ireland were also against the tour. The Four Home Unions committee which organises Lions tours decided to go ahead with the planned tour, despite this opposition, in November 1979 and the rugby unions of England (RFU), Ireland (IRFU), Scotland (SRU) and Wales (WRU) all approved the tour by January 1980.

Touring party, injuries and replacements[edit]

Of the 30 players originally selected, ten had previous Lions tour experience. Derek Quinnell had toured New Zealand in 1971 and 1977; Andy Irvine and Fran Cotton had toured South Africa in 1974 and New Zealand in 1977 while Bruce Hay, Bill Beaumont, Allan Martin, Graham Price, Jeff Squire, Peter Wheeler and Clive Williams had all toured New Zealand in 1977. Elgan Rees, added to the party before it left the UK, and Phil Orr, a replacement during the tour, had also toured in 1977. Quinnell was selected despite not playing in the 1980 Five Nations Championship; he had also toured in 1971 when yet to be capped by Wales.

The tour party was disrupted by an unusually high number of injuries and replacements throughout the 10-week long tour. Eight players flew to South Africa to reinforce the original 30 tourists; Gareth Williams, Tony Ward, Ian Stephens, John Robbie, Phil Orr, Andy Irvine, Paul Dodge and Steve Smith.

Smith joined the tour as cover prior to the final test and did not appear in any games. Irvine was in the original 30 selected tourists but withdrew due to injury prior to leaving the UK. He was replaced by Elgan Rees but joined the tour later when Slemen withdrew.

Nine players left the tour, including Mike Slemen who went home due to family illness. The eight players who were ruled out by injury were Rodney O'Donnell (neck), David Richards (shoulder), Gareth Davies (shoulder and knee), Terry Holmes (shoulder and knee), Stuart Lane (knee), Phil Blakeway (rib) and Fran Cotton (suspected heart trouble). Lane's injury occurred after 55 seconds of the opening game and gave him the shortest career of any Lions tourist. He never played international rugby again. O'Donnell's neck injury ended his rugby career completely.

Squad[edit]

Management[edit]

Backline[edit]

Fullbacks

Wings

Centres

Flyhalves

Scrumhalves

Forwards[edit]

Hookers

Props

Locks

Loose forwards

Results[edit]

Date Opponent Location Result Score
Match 1 10 May Eastern Province Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth Won 16–28
Match 2 14 May SARA Invitation XV Border RU Ground, East London Won 6–28
Match 3 17 May Natal Kings Park Stadium, Durban Won 15–21
Match 4 21 May South African Invitation XV Olën Park, Potchefstroom Won 19–22
Match 5 24 May Orange Free State Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein Won 17–21
Match 6 27 May South African Rugby Football Federation Invitation XV Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch Won 6–15
Match 7 31 May South Africa Newlands Stadium, Cape Town Lost 26–22
Match 8 4 June South African Country Districts XV South West Stadium, Windhoek Won 7–27
Match 9 7 June Transvaal Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg Won 12–32
Match 10 10 June Eastern Transvaal Pam Brink Stadium, Spring Won 15–21
Match 11 14 June South Africa Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein Lost 26–19
Match 12 18 June Junior Springboks Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg Won 6–17
Match 13 21 June Northern Transvaal Loftus Versfeld stadium, Pretoria Won 9–16
Match 14 28 June South Africa Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth Lost 12–10
Match 15 2 July South African Barbarians Kings Park Stadium, Durban Won 14–25
Match 16 5 July Western Province Newlands Stadium, Cape Town Won 6–37
Match 17 8 July Griqualand West de Beers Stadium, Kimberley Won 19–23
Match 18 12 July South Africa Loftus Versfeld stadium, Pretoria Won 13–17

The matches[edit]

First Test[edit]

31 May 1980
 South Africa 26–22 British and Irish Lions
Try: Louw c
W. du Plessis c
Van Heerden
Germishuys c
Serfontein
Con: Botha (3)
Report Try: Price
Pen: Ward (5)
Drop Ward

Attendance: 38,170
Referee: F Palmade France

South Africa: Gysie Pienaar, Ray Mordt, David Smith, Willie du Plessis, Gerrie Germishuys, Naas Botha, Divan Serfontein, Morne du Plessis (c), Theuns Stofberg, Rob Louw, Louis Moolman, Moaner van Heerden, Martiens le Roux, Willie Kahts, Richard Prentis

Lions: O'Donnell, Carleton (replaced by Gravell), Richards, Renwick, Slemen, Ward, Patterson, Quinnell, O'Driscoll, Squire, Colclough, Beaumont (c), Price, Wheeler, Williams

Second Test[edit]

14 June 1980
 South Africa 26–19 British and Irish Lions
Try: Louw
Stofberg c
Germishuys
Pienaar c
Con: Botha (2)
Pen:Botha (2)
Report Try: O'Driscoll c
Gravell
Con: Davies
Pen: Davies (2)
Irvine

Attendance: 57,159
Referee: F Palmade France

South Africa: Gysie Pienaar, Ray Mordt, David Smith, Willie du Plessis, Gerrie Germishuys, Naas Botha, Divan Serfontein, Morné du Plessis (c), Theuns Stofberg, Rob Louw (replaced by Thys Burger), Louis Moolman, Kevin de Klerk, Martiens le Roux, Willie Kahts, Richard Prentis

Lions: Irvine, Carleton, Gravell, Woodward, Hay, Davies (replaced by Campbell), Patterson, Quinnell, O'Driscoll, Squire, Colclough, Beaumont (c), Price, Wheeler, Williams

Third Test[edit]

28 June 1980
 South Africa 12–10 British and Irish Lions
Try: Germishuys c
Con: Botha
Pen:Botha
DropBotha
Report Try: Hay
Pen: Campbell (2)

Attendance: 49,250
Referee: J-P Bonnet France

South Africa: Gysie Pienaar, Ray Mordt, David Smith, Willie du Plessis, Gerrie Germishuys, Naas Botha, Divan Serfontein, Morné du Plessis (c), Theuns Stofberg, Rob Louw, Louis Moolman, Moaner van Heerden, Martiens le Roux, Willie Kahts (replaced by Ewoud Malan), Richard Prentis

Lions: Irvine, Woodward, Gravell, Dodge, Hay, Campbell, Patterson, Squire, O'Driscoll, Tucker, Colclough, Beaumont (c), Price, Wheeler, Williams

Fourth Test[edit]

12 July 1980
 South Africa 13–17 British and Irish Lions
Try: W. du Plessis
Pen:Pienaar (2)
Botha
Report Try: C. Williams
Irvine
O'Driscoll c
Con Campbell
Pen: Campbell

Attendance: 68,000
Referee: J-P Bonnet France

South Africa: Gysie Pienaar, Ray Mordt, David Smith, Willie du Plessis, Gerrie Germishuys, Naas Botha, Divan Serfontein, Morné du Plessis (c), Theuns Stofberg, Rob Louw, Louis Moolman, Moaner van Heerden, Martiens le Roux, Ewoud Malan, Richard Prentis

Lions: Irvine, Carleton, Gravell, Dodge, Hay, Campbell, Robbie, Squire, O'Driscoll, Tucker, Colclough, Beaumont (c), Price, Wheeler, Williams

References[edit]

  • Hopkins, John (1980). British Lions 1980. World's Work Ltd. 

External links[edit]