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Friday May 31, 2013

The British Lions vs the Barbarians at Twickenham in 1977

The British Lions vs the Barbarians at Twickenham in 1977

The British & Irish Lions 2013 tour starts this weekend with a historic match against the Barbarians in Hong Kong. Today we look back to 1977 when the two famous sides met at Twickenham as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebration.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s game, Lions centre Jamie Roberts was relishing the occasion.

“It’s a massive exhibition match for the game of rugby. For probably the two most famous invitational teams in world rugby to come together and play each other is quite unique. It hasn’t happened many times in our history, and to have it in a setting such as Hong Kong is going to be amazing. For the rugby watching world, it’s such a huge event,” said Roberts.

In 1977 the two sides came together following the Lions’ tour of New Zealand. The match was billed as a charity fund-raiser, and indeed over £100 000 was raised, but it was a serious contest.

It was the Lions’ first official home match and just three weeks after their 26 match tour, so they were match fit, and at full strength. The Barbarians featured Welshmen JPR Williams, Gerald Davies and Gareth Edwards, as well as the French Grand Slam winning loose trio of Jean-Pierre Rives, Jean-Claude Skrela and Jean Pierre Bastiat.

Lions XV:
Andy Irvine, Peter Squires, Steve Fenwick, Ian McGeechan, Gareth Evans, Phil Bennett, Dougie Morgan, Fran Cotton, Peter Wheeler, Graham Price, Bill Beaumont, Gordon Brown, Derick Quinnell, Willie Duggan, Tony Neary

Barbarians F.C:
JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, Ray Gravell, Charles Kent, Dave McKay, David Richards, Gareth Edwards, Barry Nelmes, Duncan Madsen, Mike Knill, Bob Wilkinson, G.A.D Wheel, Jean-Pierre Rives, Jean-Claude Skrela, Jean Pierre Bastiat

It was a fantastic game of rugby, with both sides having a full go and the Lions winning 23-14.

Time: 5:25
Credit: givesy123


  • colombes
    2:37 PM 03/06/2013

    Some epic name-droppings in this match

  • pipo
    11:18 AM 03/06/2013

    Don't the British islands include Ireland (both northern and southern entities)?? I am pretty sure they do. Back then the team was called the British Lions, a correct name for a team from both countries from a geographical point of view. It wasn't until ca. 2000 (I think) that the name was changed to refer to both political entities, the UK and the Rep. of Ireland. I am neither Irish or from the UK, but frankly, since the term British includes Ireland geographically (Google it up!), I don't see the need to include Irish in the name. I'm guessing you are Irish since you brought this up, is it really that much of a deal? To me, it sounds like if, for instance, UK players wanted the European Ryder Cup team (golf) to be called UK and Europe, instead of just Europe.

  • marcher87
    2:23 AM 02/06/2013

    Dear rugbydump please do not refer to this team as the "British Lions". Just because the British people at that time refused to acknowledge us in the name of the team does not mean it is ok to do it now.... it's not much to ask to add the two words "and Irish" into the name Thanks

  • 7:41 PM 01/06/2013

    Not sure I agree with you, lll show these clips to a non rugby fan and everyone can appreciate the wide open spirit the games were played with in the 70's, even if they don't know the game. I'd rather see rives popping up all over the place rather and irvine attempting a chest pass anyday, then a well executed pick and go, followed by the supporting forward flopping on the ruck. The biggest difference is just that, everyone is way bigger and faster, the pitch almost seems smaller now because in a way it is. Professionalism certainly has had its share of negativity as well

  • 7:34 PM 01/06/2013

    The long sleeves made them look like kids!

  • 12:35 AM 01/06/2013

    Ok, I've seen highlights of the rest of the players in this match except for rives before, who I've read was very good. After watching this clip I think he was an amazing player. He seemed to be at every barbarians breakdown, supporting 2 times in the same movement. He was brilliant!

  • frenchie
    9:57 PM 31/05/2013

    Did i see it correctly towards the end of the clip? Is the touch ref a wearing a black blazer with white short and jersey? Class!

  • rugbydump
    8:13 PM 31/05/2013

    They didn't tour with the Lions as things weren't professional back then, and they had to do exams. The tour was a mammoth three months long.

  • stroudos
    4:55 PM 31/05/2013

    Ah, halcyon days. Nice to see some of the famous names of rugby in action. An awesome showcase of flowing rugby. Blokes expecting and executing offloads, backs picking and running incisive angles, props dummying and popping the ball up off the deck for their support. Makes you wonder what happened to the game, why that flair and panache is less often seen these days, (I would acknowledge this is a 5 minute clip from a classic match, but even so). Is it professionalism = less risk-taking? Is it the fact everyone got so massive? I notice the lions centre being described as "the big man" looks about thirteen-and-a-half stone. There is just so much to enjoy about this video, not least of course the voice of Bill McLaren. Also, some of the beards and taches are supreme. Couple of moments of people smashing their oppo in the tackle then checking they're ok. But my favourite part has to be the touch judges wearing blazers - please can someone get onto the IRB - bring these back at once!

  • carson1091
    3:43 PM 31/05/2013

    Also, never tire of hearing some classic Mclaren!


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The British Lions vs the Barbarians at Twickenham in 1977 | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos