Coach: Clive Woodward
With Sir Clive Woodward hot off the trails of a much lauded World Cup win in 2003, the board of the Lions were quick to appoint him as head coach of the 2005 Lions and to try and recreate that success.
Brian O’Driscoll was recruited as captain of the tour and along with a back-room staff numbering 44 people and 51 players, the biggest British & Irish Lions party ever headed south to the land of the long white cloud.
Murmurings about Woodwards squad selection dominated proceedings throughout the tour and culminated in a bizarrely chosen 1st XV to take on the All Blacks in the first test which the Lions lost comprehensively, losing their tour captain to injury in the first few minutes of the match.
Several changes were made for the second match in Wellington that were much more in line with the publics perception of which team should be played, but again the Lions were easily beaten by a vastly superior All Black team lead by Tana Umaga.
With the series already lost, the third and final test was looking a little academic and with the news filtering in from London about the bombs on the public transport system the game seemed even more trivial than before. However, the All Blacks were not content to give even an inch to the visitors and they duly “blackwashed” the Lions winning 38-19 in the final test.