When Lions Roared

The Lions, the All Blacks and the Legendary Tour of 1971

By Tom English, Peter Burns

Format: Hardback

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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By 1971 no Lions team had ever defeated the All Blacks in a Test series. Since 1904, six Lions sides had travelled to New Zealand and all had returned home bruised, battered and beaten. But the 1971 tour party was different. It was full of young, ambitious and outrageously talented players who would all go on to carve their names into the annals of sporting history during a golden period in British and Irish rugby. And at their centre was Carwyn Jones - an intelligent, sensitive rugby mastermind who would lead his team into the game's hardest playing arena while facing a ferocious, tragic battle in his personal life, all in pursuit of a seemingly impossible dream.

Up against them was an All Blacks team filled with legends in the game in the likes of Colin Meads, Brian Lochore, Ian Kirkpatrick, Sid Going and Bryan Williams. But as the Lions swept through the provinces, lighting up the rugby fields of New Zealand the pressure began to mount on the home players in a manner never seen before. As the Test series loomed, it became clear that a clash that would echo through the ages was about to unfold. And at its conclusion, it was obvious to all that rugby would never be the same again.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Hardback
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 11 May 2017
ISBN 9781909715523
Number of Pages 320

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Press Reviews

'Brilliantly written - evocative, powerful and utterly gripping'

'Outstanding . . . On all sort of levels, it is a compelling read. The quality of the Lions backs, the coaching intelligence of Carwyn James, the shrewd management of Doug Smith, the growing Kiwi horror at what was unfolding: all of it feels strangely fresh, partly because it is so well told and partly because so much fascinating detail has lain untouched for ages' 

'Special. Wondrous insights into the Lions' only New Zealand win ... loved it'

'enthralling ... brilliantly chronicled through the eyes of those that were there'

'splendid ... not only for those of us well steeped in nostalgia, but of a wider and more immediate interest'

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