1968 British Lions tour to South Africa
Date26 May  – 28 August
Coach(es)Ronnie Dawson
Tour captain(s)Ireland Tom Kiernan
Test series winners South Africa (3–0)
Top test point scorer(s)Ireland Tom Kiernan (35)
1968 British Lions tour to South Africa
20 15 01 04
Test match
04 00 01 03
 South Africa
4 0 1 3

In 1968 the British Lions toured South Africa. The tour was not successful in terms of international results, the Lions losing the Test series against South Africa by three matches to nil, with the other match drawn. The Lions won 15 of their 16 non-international matches, losing only to Transvaal. The touring party was captained by Tom Kiernan, coached by Ronnie Dawson and managed by David Brooks. Star back Barry John broke his collar bone in a dangerous tackle in the first Test.[1][2]

As well as South Africa, games were played against South West Africa (the future Namibia, then part of South Africa) and Rhodesia (the future Zimbabwe).

Unlike the previous two tours to South Africa (1955 and 1962), this British Lions team did not stop off in Nairobi, Kenya, to play East Africa on the way home. However, one member of this tour party was later to play against that team; in 1975 Peter Stagg was living in Zambia and playing rugby for the Ndola Wanderers RFC when the Tuskers visited and he played for Zambia in their first international on 31 August 1975 at Kitwe. Six of the squad would ultimately change codes and play professional rugby league, they are; Mike Coulman, Ken Goodall, Keith Jarrett, Keri Jones, Maurice Richards, and Bryan West.




Bob Lloyd (Harlequins and England) was selected in the original touring team but had to withdraw because of exam commitments and was replaced by Jarrett.[3]


Date Venue Score Opposition Result
18 May 1968 Potchefstroom Lions 20–12 Western Transvaal Won
22 May 1968 Newlands, Cape Town Lions 10–6 Western Province Won
25 May 1968 Mossel Bay Lions 24–6 South West Districts Won
29 May 1968 Port Elizabeth Lions 23–14 Eastern Province Won
1 June 1968 Durban Lions 17–5 Natal Won
3 June 1968 Salisbury Lions 32–6 Rhodesia Won
8 June 1968 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Lions 20–25 South Africa Lost
12 June 1968 Upington Lions 25–5 North West Cape Won
15 June 1968 Windhoek Lions 23–0 South West Africa Won
18 June 1968 Ellis Park, Johannesburg Lions 6–14 Transvaal Lost
22 June 1968 Port Elizabeth Lions 6–6 South Africa Draw
29 June 1968 Springs Lions 37–9 Eastern Transvaal Won
3 July 1968 Pretoria Lions 22–19 Northern Transvaal Won
6 July 1968 Kimberley Lions 11–3 Griqualand West Won
8 July 1968 Wellington Lions 14–0 Boland Won
13 July 1968 Newlands, Cape Town Lions 6–11 South Africa Lost
17 July 1968 East London Lions 26–6 Border Won
20 July 1968 Bloemfontein Lions 9–3 Orange Free State Won
22 July 1968 Cradock Lions 40–12 North East Cape Won
27 July 1968 Ellis Park, Johannesburg Lions 6–19 South Africa Lost


  1. ^ "Barry John: Profile". Lionsrugby.com. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  2. ^ Slot, Owen (17 June 2017). "What it takes to be a Lions captain - by the men who have done it" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  3. ^ Reason 1968, p. 34.