1904 British Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand

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1904 British Lions tour to
Australia and New Zealand
1904 british isles rugby team.jpg
The British Isles team
Date18 June – 31 August
Coach(es)Arthur O'Brien
Tour captain(s)Scotland David Bedell-Sivright
Test series winners(v Australia):
British Isles (0–3)
(v New Zealand):
 New Zealand (1–0)
Top test point scorer(s)Wales Percy Bush (20)

The 1904 British Isles tour to New Zealand and Australia was the sixth tour by a British Isles rugby union team and the third to New Zealand or Australia. It is retrospectively classed as one of the British Lions tours, as the Lions naming convention was not adopted until 1950.

Led by Scotland captain David Bedell-Sivright and managed by Arthur O'Brien the tour included 19 matches, 14 in Australia and 5 in New Zealand. Four of the fixtures were test matches – three against Australia and one against the New Zealand All Blacks. The Lions won all three Australian tests but lost the All Blacks' game.

This was the first time that a British team played both Australia and New Zealand in the same tour. It was also the last series until 1989 in which Australian matches were the major component; in between the only Australian fixtures were those appended onto a longer New Zealand tour. The team's captain, Bedell-Sivright, a veteran of the 1903 tour of South Africa, was requested to lead the team by England's Rugby Football Union. Bedell-Sivright broke his leg in the opening match of the New Zealand leg of the tour and Teddy Morgan took over the captaincy.

The uniforms wore by the Lions remained the same than previous tours, blue used in thick hoops and the red and white in thin bands.[1]

Touring party[edit]


Complete list of matches played by the British Lions:[10][11][12]

  Test matches

New Zealand national team that played British Isles in Wellington
The Auckland side that defeated the Lions team on 20 August
Match Date Opponent Location Result Score
Match 1 18 June NSW Waratahs Sydney, Australia Won 27–0
Match 2 22 June Western District Combined Bathurst, Australia Won 21–6
Match 3 25 June NSW Waratahs Sydney, Australia Won 29–6
Match 4 29 June Metropolitan Union Sydney, Australia Won 19–6
Match 5 2 July  Australia Sydney, Australia Won 17–0
Match 6 6 July Northern Districts Newcastle, Australia Won 17–3
Match 7 9 July Queensland Reds Brisbane, Australia Won 24–5
Match 8 13 July Metropolitan Union Brisbane, Australia Won 17–3
Match 9 16 July Queensland Reds Brisbane, Australia Won 18–7
Match 10 20 July Toowoomba Toowoomba, Australia Won 12–3
Match 11 23 July  Australia Brisbane, Australia Won 17–3
Match 12 27 July New England Armidale, Australia Won 26–9
Match 13 30 July  Australia Sydney, Australia Won 16–0
Match 14 6 August Canterbury / West Coast RU Christchurch, New Zealand Won 5–3
Match 15 10 August Otago / Southland RU Dunedin, New Zealand Won 14–8
Match 16 13 August  New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Lost 3–9
Match 17 17 August Taranaki / Wanganui / Manawatu RU New Plymouth, New Zealand Drew 0–0
Match 18 20 August Auckland RU Auckland, New Zealand Lost 0–13
Match 19 31 August NSW Waratahs Sydney, Australia Won 5–0
Played in Matches Won Lost Drawn Points for Points against
Australia 14 14 0 0 265 51
New Zealand 5 2 2 1 22 33
Total 17 14 2 1 287 84

Test details[edit]

Australia 1st Test[edit]

2 July
Australia 0–17United Kingdom British Isles
Try: Bush
Con: Harding
drop: Bush
Sydney Cricket Ground
Attendance: 34,000
Referee: T.G. Pauling

Australia 2nd Test[edit]

23 July
Australia 3–17United Kingdom British Isles
Try: BurdonTry: Bush
Goal: Bush
Exhibition Ground, Brisbane
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: W.H Beattie

Australia 3rd Test[edit]

30 July
Australia 0–16United Kingdom British Isles
Try: Gabe, Llewellyn
Morgan, Swannell
Con: Bush, O'Brien
Sydney Cricket Ground
Attendance: 24,000
Referee: T.G Pauling

New Zealand[edit]

13 August
New Zealand 9–3United Kingdom British Isles
Try: D McGregor (2)
Pen: Wallace
Pen: Harding
Athletic Park, Wellington
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: F.T. Evans (Auckland, New Zealand)

  1. ^ a b From 1899, Australia tended to use the colours of the state they were playing in, the Waratah's light blue in Sydney and the Queensland Reds' maroon in Brisbane.[13]


  1. ^ Lions change their stripes on Lions website, 17 Apr 2005
  2. ^ "Player archives – Chris Stanger-Leathes". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Player archives – John Fisher". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Player archives – John Sharland". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Player archives – Charlie Patterson". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Player archives – Reg Edwards". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Player archives – Burnett Massey". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Player archives – Ron Rogers". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Player archives – Stuart Saunders". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Past Tour Results: 1903–1904". British Lions Ltd. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  11. ^ British & Irish Lions results on Rugby Football History
  12. ^ Early Lions: Squads and results (1888–1938) on BBC Sport, 18 May 2005
  13. ^ Brief history of the quirky colours of the Wallaby jersey by Spiro Zavos on The Roar website, 25 Aug 2012

Further reading[edit]

  • Thomas, Clem; updated by Thomas, Greg (2005). The History of The British and Irish Lions. Mainstream Books. pp. 50–54. ISBN 1-84596-030-0.

External links[edit]