1930 British Lions tour to New Zealand and Australia
Date21 May – 1 October
Coach(es)James Baxter
Tour captain(s)England Doug Prentice
Test series winners New Zealand (1–3)
 Australia (1–0)
Top test point scorer(s)England Carl Aarvold (9)
1930 British Lions tour to New Zealand and Australia
29 21 00 08
Test match
05 01 00 04
 New Zealand
4 1 0 3
1 0 0 1

The 1930 British Lions tour to New Zealand and Australia was the twelfth tour by a British Isles team and the fifth to New Zealand and Australia. This tour is recognised as the first to represent a bona fide British team[1] and the first to be widely dubbed the 'Lions', after the nickname was used by journalists during the 1924 tour of South Africa.[2]

Led by England's Doug Prentice and managed by James Baxter the tour took in 28 matches, seven in Australia and 21 in New Zealand. Of the 28 games, 24 were against club or invitational teams, four were test matches against New Zealand and one was a test match against Australia. The test match results saw the Lions lose to Australia, and win only one of the four New Zealand tests.

As with earlier trips, the selectors had a difficult time putting together the final team that made up the British Isles tour. Roughly a hundred players were approached before the 29 who eventually sailed could be chosen. Of the Lions, the players who stood out on the tour included Roger Spong, Harry Bowcott and Jack Bassett, while Ivor Jones impressed in the pack and set up a memorable try in the first game against New Zealand which gave the Lions their only test win.

Touring party

Doc on One

RTÉ radio has broadcast a documentary about Mike Dunne who corresponded with a Maori princess, Rau Ellison, and sent her his Lions jersey. But their potential romance didn't happen as her family arranged a marriage for her with a neighbouring farmer. https://www.rte.ie/radio/doconone/647572-doconone-podcast-lions-rugby-tour-jersey-all-blacks-mickey-dunne-new-zealand https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/when-the-all-blacks-had-to-wear-white-1.3137118

There also was an article in the Irish Independent c 2005 based on Mike Dunne's diaries of the tour.

Match summary

Complete list of matches played by the British Isles in New Zealand and Australia:[3][4]

  Test matches

The All Blacks (wearing white shirts) that played the second test v the Lions on 5 July
The All Blacks (wearing white shirts) that played the second test v the Lions on 5 July
# Date Rival City Country Result Score
1 21 May
Wanganui New Zealand Won 19–3
2 24 May
New Plymouth New Zealand Won 23–7
3 28 May
Palmerston North New Zealand Won 34–8
4 31 May
Masterton New Zealand Won 19–6
5 3 June
Wellington Lions colours.png
Wellington New Zealand Lost 8–12
6 7 June
Christchurch New Zealand Lost 8–14
7 11 June
West Coast-Buller rugby colours.png
West Coast-Buller
Greymouth New Zealand Won 34–11
8 14 June
Dunedin New Zealand Won 33–9
9 21 June  New Zealand Dunedin New Zealand Won 6–3
10 25 June
Invercargill New Zealand Won 9–3
11 28 June
Ashburton /
South Canterbury /
North Otago
Timaru New Zealand Won 16–9
12 5 July  New Zealand Christchurch New Zealand Lost 10–13
13 9 July New Zealand New Zealand Māori Wellington New Zealand Won 19–13
14 12 July
Hawkes Bay Air NZ Cup colours.png
Hawke's Bay
Napier New Zealand Won 14–3
15 16 July
East Coast /
Poverty Bay /
Bay of Plenty
Gisborne New Zealand Won 25–11
16 19 July
Auckland colours, Air NZ Cup.png
Auckland New Zealand Lost 6–19
17 26 July  New Zealand Auckland New Zealand Lost 10–15
18 30 July
North auckland rugby.png
North Auckland
Whangarei New Zealand Won 38–5
19 2 Aug
Waikato colours, Air NZ Cup.png
Waikato /
Thames Valley /
King Country
Hamilton New Zealand Won 40–16
20 9 Aug  New Zealand Wellington New Zealand Lost 8–22
21 12 Aug
Nelson Rugby Colours.png
Nelson /
Marlborough Rugby Colours.png
Marlborough /
Golden Bay-Motueka Rugby Colours.png
Golden Bay-Motueka
Blenheim New Zealand Won 41–3
22 23 Aug New South Wales NSW Waratahs Sydney Australia Won 29–10
23 30 Aug  Australia Sydney Australia Lost 5–6
24 3 Sep Queensland Queensland Reds Brisbane Australia Won 26–16
25 6 Sep Australia Australian XV Brisbane Australia Won 29–14
26 10 Sep New South Wales NSW Waratahs Sydney Australia Lost 3–28
27 13 Sep Victoria (Australia) Victoria Melbourne Australia Won 41–36
28 22 Sep Western Australia Western Australia Perth Australia Won 71–3
29 1 Oct Dominion of Ceylon Ceylon [note 1] Colombo Sri Lanka Won 45–0
  1. ^ Not listed in traditional Lions tests. As a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon; it achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1948.
Played in Pl W D L Ps Pc
New Zealand 21 15 0 6 420 205
Australia 7 5 0 2 204 113
Ceylon 1 1 0 0 45 0
Total 29 21 0 8 669 318

Match details

New Zealand (First test)

21 June 1930
New Zealand  3–6 United Kingdom British Isles
Try: G.F. Hart
Report Try: J.C. Morley, J.S.R. Reeve
Carisbrook, Dunedin
Attendance: 27,000
Referee: S. Hollander (Canterbury, New Zealand)



  1. ^ Godwin (1981), pg 231.
  2. ^ Griffiths (1987), pg 9:7.
  3. ^ British & Irish Lions results on Rugby Football History
  4. ^ Early Lions: Squads and results (1888–1938) on BBC Sport, 18 May 2005