2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia

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2001 British and Irish Lions Tour to Australia
Logo Lions Rugby.svg
Date 8 June  – 14 July
Coach(es) New ZealandGraham Henry
Tour captain(s) England Martin Johnson
Test series winners  Australia (2–1)
Top test point scorer(s) England Jonny Wilkinson (36)
2001 tour badge

The 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia was a series of matches played by the British and Irish Lions rugby union team in Australia.

This tour followed the Lions' 1997 tour to South Africa and preceded the 2005 tour to New Zealand.

The team was captained by Martin Johnson, who became the first and until Sam Warburtons 2017 captaincy the only person to lead the Lions on two tours. The coach was New Zealander Graham Henry. After winning the first of their matches against Australia, the Lions lost the remaining two matches of the test series. This was the first time that Australia defeated the Lions in a series. The tour was noted for tension between the test squad and the midweek squad as well as controversial newspaper columns written by scrum-halves Matt Dawson and Austin Healey accusing the coaching staff of the poor scheduling and training regimes and lack of team spirit.


Name Position Club Home Nation Notes
Iain Balshaw Full Back Bath England England
Matt Perry Full Back Bath England England
Ben Cohen Wing Northampton England England
Dafydd James Wing Llanelli Wales Wales
Dan Luger Wing Saracens England England
Jason Robinson Wing Sale England England
Tyrone Howe Wing Ulster Ireland Ireland Injury replacement for Dan Luger
Mike Catt Centre Bath England England
Will Greenwood Centre Harlequins England England
Rob Henderson Centre Wasps England England
Brian O'Driscoll Centre Leinster Ireland Ireland
Mark Taylor Centre Swansea Wales Wales
Scott Gibbs Centre Swansea Wales Wales Injury replacement for Mike Catt
Neil Jenkins Fly Half Cardiff Wales Wales
Ronan O'Gara Fly Half Munster Ireland Ireland
Jonny Wilkinson Fly Half Newcastle England England
Matt Dawson Scrum Half Northampton England England
Austin Healey Scrum Half Leicester England England
Rob Howley Scrum Half Cardiff Wales Wales
Andy Nicol Scrum Half Glasgow Scotland Scotland Injury replacement for Rob Howley
Jason Leonard Prop Harlequins England England
Darren Morris Prop Swansea Wales Wales
Tom Smith Prop Brive Scotland Scotland
Phil Vickery Prop Gloucester England England
Dai Young Prop Cardiff Wales Wales
Phil Greening Hooker Wasps England England
Robin McBryde Hooker Llanelli Wales Wales
Keith Wood Hooker Harlequins Ireland Ireland
Gordon Bulloch Hooker Glasgow Scotland Scotland Injury replacement for Phil Greening;
Dorian West Hooker Leicester England England Called up as back-up after a number of injuries to the squad
Jeremy Davidson Second Row Castres Ireland Ireland
Danny Grewcock Second Row Saracens England England
Martin Johnson (capt.) Second Row Leicester England England
Scott Murray Second Row Saracens Scotland Scotland
Malcolm O'Kelly Second Row St Mary's College Ireland Ireland
Neil Back Back Row Leicester England England
Colin Charvis Back Row Swansea Wales Wales
Lawrence Dallaglio Back Row Wasps and England England
Richard Hill Back Row Saracens England England
Scott Quinnell Back Row Llanelli Wales Wales
Simon Taylor Back Row Edinburgh Scotland Scotland
Martyn Williams Back Row Cardiff Wales Wales
Martin Corry Back Row Leicester England England Injury replacement for Simon Taylor
David Wallace Back Row Munster Ireland Ireland Injury replacement for Lawrence Dallaglio


Date Home team Score Ground Result
8 June Western Australia 10 - 116 WACA, Perth Win
12 June Queensland Presidents XV 6 - 83 Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Win
16 June Queensland Reds 8 - 42 Ballymore, Brisbane Win
19 June Australia 'A' 28 - 25 North Power Stadium, Gosford Lost
23 June NSW Waratahs 24 - 41 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Win
26 June NSW Country 3 - 46 International Stadium, Coffs Harbour Win
30 June Australia 13 - 29 The Gabba, Brisbane Win
3 July ACT Brumbies 28 - 30 Bruce Stadium, Canberra Win
7 July Australia 35 - 14 Colonial Stadium Lost
14 July Australia 29 - 23 Stadium Australia Lost



Jason Robinson scored the first try of the match, putting the Lions up 5 to nil. Andrew Walker successfully kicked a penalty goal for Australia's first points. The Lions scored through Dafydd James, which was converted by Wilkinson. The score at half time was 12–3.

Brian O'Driscoll scored for the Lions in the second half. Wilkinson converted the try, making it 19 points. Wilkinson would also kick a penalty goal as well. Scott Quinnell scored for the Lions, Wilkinson converted. Walker then scored a try for Australia. The Lions won the first Test.

30 June 2001
Australia  13–29 British and Irish Lions
Tries: Grey
Pen: Walker
Report Tries: Robinson
Con: Wilkinson (3)
Pen: Wilkinson
The Gabba, Brisbane
Attendance: 37,460


The second test was played at Colonial Stadium in Melbourne. Wilkinson was successful with two penalty goals, giving the Lions a six to nil lead. Burke then kicked a penalty goal for Australia. Neil Back scored the first try of the match, giving the Lions an 11 to three lead over Australia. Burke kicked another penalty goal to make the score 11 points to six to the Lions.

Joe Roff scored a try for Australia in the second half, making the score 11-all. Burke kicked a penalty goal to take Australia to the lead. The score became 21–11 when Roff scored his second try. Wilkinson then kicked a penalty goal to make it 21–14. Burke then scored a try for Australia, making it 29–14. Burke kicked another two penalty goals. Australia won the second Test.

7 July 2001
Australia  35–14 British and Irish Lions
Tries: Roff (2)
Con: Burke (1)
Pen: Burke (6)
Report Tries: Back
Pen: Wilkinson (3)
Colonial Stadium, Melbourne
Attendance: 56,605


With the Lions winning the opening test, and Australia coming back to win the second, the third game at Stadium Australia in Sydney was the decider and was refereed by New Zealander Paddy O'Brien. The scoring opened up in the third minute, with a penalty to Australia – Burke was successful with the penalty goal, taking Australia to a three to nil lead. Wilkinson, who was under an injury cloud leading up to the match, levelled the scores in the 5th minute with a successful penalty goal. Burke then landed another penalty goal for Australia. Four minutes later Burke kicked another penalty goal, giving Australia a nine to three lead. Robinson scored the first try of the match, which was converted by Wilkinson, giving the Lions a 10 to nine lead. Daniel Herbert scored Australia's first try which was converted by Burke, giving Australia a 16 to 10 lead. Wilkinson was successful with a penalty goal that made the scores 16 points to 13.

The Lions took the lead in the second half, with Wilkinson crossing the line to score a try and then converting it, giving the Lions a 20 to 16 lead. Herbert scored his second try in the 49th minute, Burke converted, giving Australia the lead, 23 points to 20. Wilkinson kicked a penalty goal, levelling scores at 23-all. Burke was successful with a subsequent penalty goal five minutes after. Burke kicked another in the 76th minute, to make the score 29 to 23.

14 July 2001
Australia  29–23 British and Irish Lions
Tries: Herbert (2)
Con: Burke (2)
Pen: Burke (5)
match report Tries: Robinson, Wilkinson
Con: Wilkinson (2)
Pen: Wilkinson (3)
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 84,188

Television coverage[edit]

In Australia, Seven Network and Fox Sports jointly televised the British and Irish Lions matches.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1997 Tour to South Africa
Tour to Australia
Succeeded by
2005 Tour to New Zealand