Full coverage of the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand

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Draw leaves fans feeling flat (1:07)

Tom May reacts to the Series draw between New Zealand and the British & Irish Lions and insists that the Lions should feel proud. (1:07)

The British & Irish Lions have ended a gruelling 10-game tour of New Zealand with a record of five wins, three losses and two draws.

ESPN has been there every step of the way.

The three-Test series against the world champion All Blacks has ended drawn at 1-1 after the two sides couldn't be separated in a pulsating 15-15 finale.

Top Headlines

Match coverage

Jones focused on series above plaudits

Alun Wyn Jones will take his place among some of the greats to have worn the Lions jersey when he runs out onto Eden Park on Saturday.

Excitement builds as Lions target history

Tom Hamilton sets the scene ahead of the British & Irish Lions' decisive third Test against the All Blacks at Eden Park.

Milestone man Read in 'pretty cool place'

All Blacks captain Kieran Read will join an exclusive club on Saturday night when he plays his 100th Test in the series decider with the British & Irish Lions.

What makes the All Blacks so good?

Tom Hamilton has travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand over the past six weeks looking for the secret to New Zealand's rugby prowess.

Gatland tells Lions to 'leave a legacy'

Warren Gatland has challenged his players to 'do something special' in the third Test against the All Blacks on Saturday.

Unchanged Lions comfortable in their own skin

Warren Gatland met expectations by opting for Lions continuity in third Test, says Tom Hamilton.

Experience, youth could be potent backline mix for ABs

The All Blacks have a decision to make in the midfield this week and it should be one that considers the value of experience writes Craig Dowd.

Growden: Time for offsiders to be penalized

With referees having an already loaded plate, players have been taking advantage of the offside laws writes Greg Growden.

Why we haven't seen the best of Beauden Barrett, yet

The British & Irish Lions have given up a whopping 24 penalties across the first Two tests but in doing so they have limited the impact of Beauden Barrett.

Fekitoa returns to All Blacks with point to prove

Controversially overlooked ahead of the series, Malakai Fekitoa is now back in the running to start for the All Blacks in the decisive third Test.

Lions beat 14-man All Blacks to level series

The British & Irish Lions produced a stirring finish in Wellington the beat the 14-man All Blacks.

Who's the clown now? Criticism galvanises Lions

Warren Gatland says his players were galvanised after their fair share of criticism in the build up to Saturday's 24-21 win over the All Blacks.

All Blacks coach Hansen in no mood for 'red whine'

New Zealand had few complaints with the red card to Sonny Bill Williams that saw them play with 14 men for 55 minutes of the second Test.

Warburton: Win keeps Lions alive

Lions captain Sam Warburton hopes that the British & Irish Lions victory in Wellington will keep the Lions tradition alive.

SBW makes unwanted history in Wellington

Sonny Bill Williams will go down in the record books as the first player to get sent off in a British & Irish Lions Test.

All Blacks vs. Lions 2nd Test: Social Reaction

There was ecstasy from former Lions players and fans on social media after Warren Gatland's side won the second Test.

Lions Player Ratings: Second Test

Owen Farrell and Sean O'Brien were the pick of the bunch as the British & Irish Lions claimed victory in Wellington.

All Blacks Player Ratings: 2nd Test

New Zealand missed the chance to clinch the series against the British & Irish Lions as they were made to pay for Sonny Bill Williams' red card.

Tom May: Sexton-Farrell gamble pays off

Former England international Tom May looks at how well Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell combined in the Lions second Test win.

All Blacks vs. Lions 2nd Test: Defining moments

There was a red card, a yellow card, two tries and a dubious penalty to decide the match. We break down the defining moments of the Lions win in Wellington.

Lions selection rugby's equivalent of going 'all in'

The selection of Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell at 10 and 12 is Warren Gatland stacking his chips, throwing them into the middle of the table and then waiting; he has shown his hand, writes Tom Hamilton.

Tactical guessing game: How second Test will be won

The All Blacks took a 1-0 series lead over the British & Irish Lions by winning the tactical battle. But that could all change in Wellington as both sides try to "second guess" each other, Steve Hansen says.

Standout Laumape knocking on All Blacks door

Rugby league convert Ngani Laumape took a further step towards an All Blacks debut with yet another bullocking display for the Hurricanes against the Lions.

Hurricanes vs. Lions: Who said what

Lions captain Rory Best refused to blame referee Romain Poite over the yellow card that led to his side squandering a 14-point advantage against the Hurricanes.

What the Lions learned in Canes draw

The true significance of the draw between the British & Irish Lions and Hurricanes will only be put into perspective for the tourists at the end of the series.

All Blacks park razzle-dazzle for route-one rugby

They're usually the kings of attacking wizardry but that wasn't the case as the All Blacks kept it simple to beat the Lions at Eden Park.

Jones: Lions need to be more clinical

Former British & Irish Lions prop Adam Jones believes Warren Gatland's side need to take their chances if they're to come close to winning the second Test.

Lions Player Ratings -- 1st Test

Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams had strong games for the Lions in their 30-15 loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park.

All Blacks Player Ratings -- 1st Test

Kieran Read and Brodie Retallick led from the front as the All Blacks went 1-0 in the best of three Test series against the Lions.

All Blacks vs. Lions 1st Test: Social reaction

Plenty of former players and influential figures in the North expressed their frustration on social media as the Lions missed numerous opportunities in the first Test.

All Blacks vs. Lions 1st Test: Who said what

The British & Irish Lions were left to rue poor finishing after world champions New Zealand won a thrilling first Test in Auckland.

One of the great Lions tries not enough to halt magnetic All Blacks

The All Blacks' 80-minute management is unrivalled, fortress Eden Park remains secure, formidable and a place synonymous with New Zealand victory.

Read unconcerned by lack of recent rugby

Sam Bruce reports from Auckland as the All Blacks go through their final preparations ahead of the first Test.

The quiet man from Munster takes centre stage

Peter O'Mahony has been through an awful lot this season which is why captaining the British & Irish Lions in the first Test against the All Blacks will not faze or distract him in the slightest.

Gatland goes bold with exciting team selection

George North? Gone. Leigh Halfpenny? Benched. Sam Warburton, the tour captain? Benched. Warren Gatland's team for the first Lions Test was a shock -- but a positive decision.

Chiefs win gives Gatland food for thought

The British & Irish Lions coaches will meet on Wednesday to finalise the team for Saturday's first Test with Warren Gatland predicting a "tough" selection meeting.

What the Lions learned in Chiefs rout

The midweek side made their mark on the 2017 tour with a commanding 34-6 win in Hamilton. Here is what the tourists will have learned.

Lions vs. Chiefs: Who said what

The reaction of British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland, captain Rory Best and Jack Nowell after the convincing victory over the Chiefs.

Lions vs. Chiefs: Social reaction

There was plenty of social love for Courtney Lawes and the Lions' back three.

What the Lions learned in record Maori win

Forward dominance, physicality and some real grunt saw the British & Irish Lions dispatch the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua.

Maori embracing history, heritage ahead of Lions battle

The Maori All Blacks are leaving their Super Rugby allegiances at the door in the hope of delivering another body blow to the British & Irish Lions' momentum.

Lions left licking scrum wounds

Discipline and scrum interpretation remain a concern for Lions coach Warren Gatland following a run of penalties in the latter stages of Tuesday's loss to the Highlanders that left prop Kyle Sinckler bemused.

What the Lions learned in Highlanders loss

The British & Irish Lions slipped to a last-gasp defeat to the Highlanders in Dunedin as Marty Banks struck a late penalty to seal a 23-22 win.

Lions vs. Highlanders: Social reaction

We look at how social media reacted after the Lions suffered their second defeat four games into the tour of New Zealand.

What the Lions learned in Crusaders win

The British & Irish Lions bounced back from defeat to earn a hard-fought victory against the Crusaders. This is what Warren Gatland would have learned.

Lions vs Crusaders: Social reaction

The British & Irish Lions beat the form Super Rugby side at the AMI Stadium and we look at how former players reacted to the victory on social media.

Craig Dowd: Lions won't beat Crusaders

Former All Black Craig Dowd says he can't see Warren Gatland's side beating the Crusaders or the Highlanders, but that shouldn't dishearten Lions fans.

Lions look for cure to offload pain

The British & Irish Lions will focus on improving their discipline and offload prevention as they look to bounce back from their defeat to the Blues on Wednesday evening.

Analysis: The try that tamed the Lions

Tour games don't often live in the memory when one reflects on previous British & Irish Lions campaigns, but Ihaia West's try that saw the Blues record a famous victory might well be an exception to the rule.

What the Lions learned in Blues defeat

Two matches down and the British & Irish Lions have suffered their first defeat after losing 22-16 to the Blues at Eden Park.

Lions vs. Blues: Social reaction

We look at how social media reacted to the British & Irish Lions' first loss of the 2017 tour as the Blues recorded a stunning 22-16 win at Eden Park.

Blues will draw on inside knowledge vs. Lions

Blues high performance director Tony Hanks knows Warren Gatland's methods well having worked with the British & Irish Lions coach at Wasps and Waikato.

Lions given perfect wake-up call in Whangarei

Warren Gatland's Lions squad are under no illusion to the task in front of them in New Zealand following a stuttering win over the NZ Provincial Barbarians.

Provincial Barbarians: What the Lions learned

If the Provincial Barbarians were meant to be the most straight-forward opponents the Lions will face, then the tourists have been served a stark reminder over just how hard this series will be.

Features

All Blacks a Key part of New Zealand life

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir John Key discusses what the All Blacks mean to the country they represent.

What makes the All Blacks so successful?

ESPN's Tom Hamilton has travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand over the past six weeks, looking for the secret to New Zealand's rugby prowess.

Ponsonby Rugby Club: Much more than 45 All Blacks

Rugby clubs the world over each have their own unique story to tell. But few come better than that of Ponsonby District Rugby Football Club, where the local community is just as important as a record 45 All Blacks.

Steve Hansen: Horses, frustrations and Saturday

The All Blacks coach has varied experiences from his time in the police force, in Wales and even training horses. It's prepared for Saturday's decider against the British & Irish Lions.

The Hitman and Wax: Gone but never forgotten

Tom Hamilton speaks to a raft of former All Blacks who knew the late Jerry Collins and Sione Lauaki best.

The All Blacks whose heart remains in the valley

ESPN's Tom Hamilton meets Rugby World Cup-winner Piri Weepu, who after a globe-trotting career still feels most at home at his local rugby league club.

Henry happy with life after All Blacks

Former All Blacks and British & Irish Lions coach Graham Henry talks about life after winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Chris Masoe: Jerry, Toulon and the next chapter

Chris Masoe has had a decorated rugby career spanning 16 years, but he's also had to deal with personal grief and the struggles of being away from home.

Adam Jones: Itoje-Jones pairing can give Lions parity

Former Lions prop Adam Jones believes a second row partnership between Maro Itoje and Alun Wyn Jones can help the tourists level the series with the All Blacks.

'We know he misses us' - At home with the Gatlands

When Warren Gatland steps out onto the Eden Park turf on Saturday, he will look into the stands for three familiar faces. Tom Hamilton spent a day with Lions coach's family.

Carter: Lions series the pinnacle for Lions

Dan Carter savoured first hand the frenzy the Lions engendered in his homeland the last time they visited in 2005 -- and still recalls the experience with palpable awe and wonder.

Williams cannot forget Lions who changed New Zealand

The names of the 1971 Lions forever run through the great Bryan Williams' mind. They were the tourists who helped change New Zealand rugby.

The history of stand-in skippers in numbers

As anybody who managed a pre-tour bet on Peter O'Mahony leading the Lions in the first Test against the All Blacks staggers out of their bookies we look at previous occasions where the Lions have been led by a stand-in captain.

New Zealand honours its favourite son

The small New Zealand town of Te Kuiti grounded to a halt as a statue to honour All Blacks legend Sir Colin Meads was unveiled.

All Blacks Watch

The All Blacks dusted off any possible cobwebs with an impressive outing against Samoa while one winger dealt the Lions a big blow for his Super Rugby franchise.

'Euphoric' night the Maori made history

Jono Gibbes was racked with self-doubt as he prepared the New Zealand Maori to face the 2005 British & Irish Lions. He ended that "euphoric" night having helped make history, and provided inspiration to a new generation.

Matured Maro taking rise in his stride

Maro Itoje was just 19 when he led England to Junior World Championship glory on New Zealand soil. Three years on -- and over his pre-match anxiety -- Itoje is in the frame to start for the British & Irish Lions against the All Blacks.

The All Black who is a farmer first, rugby player second

Tom Hamilton pays a visit to Stonehenge Farm, the remote home of one of New Zealand's most decorated hookers, Andrew Hore.

Lions have homework to do at scrum time

Whinging will not give the British & Irish Lions parity at scrum time, but they have the players and coaching staff to turn things around in New Zealand.

How 'young Vic' helped shape Highlanders of today

Former All Blacks coach Laurie Mains bleeds blue and gold such is his affiliation with Otago Rugby. But even he fell out of love with the Highlanders -- until they knuckled down and returned to their roots of sheer, bloody hard work.

Lions Tour: All Blacks Watch

22 members of Steve Hansen's All Blacks squad featured either against the Lions in the tour games or in Super Rugby. We rank how they fared.

Lions legend Bentley: 'The try that changed my life'

20 years ago the British & Irish Lions were up against the Gauteng Lions on their tour in South Africa. It was a day John Bentley wrote his name into Lions history

Crusaders vs. Lions is Christchurch's Test match

Crusaders backs coach Leon Macdonald talks to ESPN about his memories of playing the Lions in 2005 and why Christchurch's unbeaten team are doing it for their city and their teammates.

Hansen's selection headache signals strength of All Blacks

Steve Hansen says the All Blacks squad he unveiled on Thursday to face the British & Irish Lions was the hardest he has ever had to pick.

Debunking the 'Warrenball' myth

The term 'Warrenball' angers Warren Gatland. It has become synonymous with direct, physical rugby, but ask two men who know Gatland best and they say attacking unpredictability is high up in his coaching philosophy's pecking order.

All Blacks selection issues ahead of Lions Tests

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has plenty to ponder ahead of naming his Test squad to take on the British & Irish Lions. ESPN looks at the four big selection talking points.

Backyard to Lions' den: Ioane boys to torment tourists

The Ioane boys, Akira and Rieko, will on Wednesday night enjoy the special honour of facing the British & Irish Lions alongside one another in front of a packed Eden Park.

Umaga shuts down '05 talk to concentrate on Blues

Tana Umaga was not in the mood for reminiscing on the 2005 Lions tour as he shut down any talk of the infamous tackle from 12 years ago.

Warburton: Two weeks to claim Test place

Kneejerk conclusions will not be drawn from the Lions' struggles against the Provincial Barbarians, but the tourists will have to learn quickly and find some try-scoring form if they are to knock over the All Blacks, according to captain Sam Warburton.

Lions in awe of Waitangi welcome

The Lions have been in New Zealand for five days, but under the crisp winter sun, they were officially welcomed to Aotearoa in a ceremony at Waitangi's treaty grounds that will live long in the memory of those lucky enough to witness it.

Lions must embrace spirit of '71

What can the 2017 Lions learn from the class of 1971? John Taylor believes they must mimic the famous squad's culture.

Gatland wants underdogs to rewrite history

Flying under the radar is suiting the Lions, but Warren Gatland hopes his class of 2017 will have their names written in New Zealand history by the end of the tour.

Super fan Sinckler ready to become a Lion

By his own admission Kyle Sinckler is in "rugby heaven" as he prepares for his first run out as a Lion.

'We want to entertain'

NZ Provincial Barbarians coach Clayton McMillan talks to Tom Hamilton about the unique challenge of bringing together an invitational side to face the Lions.

Wilkinson on 2005: 'I'd never seen such chaos'

Jonny Wilkinson, who toured New Zealand with the Lions 12 years ago, discusses that squad's mistakes and what Gatland & Co. must get right this time around.

Did the Lions heed McGeechan's advice?

Following the 1993 tour of New Zealand, then-coach Sir Ian McGeechan made 18 recommendations for future trips. Were they implemented?

Little left to chance as Lions head to New Zealand

What the 2017 British & Irish Lions lacked in preparation time they made up for in planning as they departed London on Monday afternoon determined to upset the All Blacks.

Video

Tom May: Draw leaves fans feeling flat

Tom May insists the Lions should feel proud, rather than hollow, after drawing the three Test series with the All Blacks.

Tour Diary - Day 39

ESPN's Tom Hamilton says the All Blacks squandered numerous opportunities in the third Test draw against the Lions.

Tour Diary - Day 38

ESPN's Tom Hamilton shares his thoughts on whether the British and Irish Lions can overcome the All Blacks in the third Test.

Umaga: All Blacks' superiority created at school

Former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga believes the education system is the main reason behind their prolonged success in rugby.

Tour Diary - Day 37

Tom Hamilton and Sam Bruce discuss all the latest team news from the Lions tour ahead of the third Test in New Zealand.

Umaga remembers mischievous duo Jerry Collins and Sione Lauaki

Former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga talks to ESPN about his memories of playing alongside the late Jerry Collins and Sione Lauaki.

Adam Jones: Beware the wound-up All Blacks

Adam Jones recalls facing a wound-up New Zealand side with Wales in 2006, and losing by 35 points.

Lions tours much more than just rugby

Former All Blacks prop Craig Dowd has hailed the off-field impact of the Lions tour, saying the thousands of supports who've flocked to New Zealand have created a wonderful feeling up and down the country.

Tour Diary - Day 34

Tom Hamilton checks in from the scenic Queenstown as the Lions shun the spotlight ahead of the deciding third Test.

How each side can win the series decider

Tom May assesses how the Lions can repeat their second test heroics and how the All Blacks can bounce back in the decider.

Masoe: My proudest moment was playing the Lions

New Zealand's Chris Masoe insists that facing the British and Irish Lions in 2005 was one of the proudest moments of his career.

Tour Diary - Day 28

After the Lions drew with the Hurricanes, ESPN's Tom Hamilton gives us his view on all of the game's main talking points.

Tour Diary - Day 27

ESPN's Tom Hamilton discusses with Alex Lowe whether Warren Gatland was right to accuse the All Blacks of targeting Conor Murray in the first Test.

Tour Diary - Day 26

ESPN's Tom Hamilton discusses who will be playing ahead of Tuesday's match between the British and Irish Lions and the Hurricanes.

Jones: All Blacks a different class to the Lions

Former Lion Adam Jones believes the All Blacks had too much quality for the Lions to deal with in their first test defeat.

Tour Diary - Day 25

ESPN's Tom Hamilton believes the Lions will need to improve their discipline if they are to stand a chance in the second test against the All Blacks.

Tour Diary - Day 24

On the eve of the first Test, Tom Hamilton explains one part of Warren Gatland's pre-match routine between him and his family.

Tour Diary - Day 23

Tom Hamilton reports on a number of surprising selections Warren Gatland has made for the Lions first Test against the All Blacks.

Tour Diary - Day 22

Tom Hamilton recaps the Lions comfortable win over the Chiefs in Hamilton and casts an eye on selection issues ahead of the first Test.

Tour Diary - Day 21

Sir Colin Meads was honoured in his hometown, as big crowds turned up to watch the unveiling of the rugby legend's statue.

Tour Diary - Day 20

Tom Hamilton is in Hamilton as the touring media discuss whether there will be any surprises in Warren Gatland's selection for the first Test.

Tour Diary - Day 19

Tom Hamilton reacts from New Zealand as the British and Irish Lions dominate against the Maori All Blacks.

Tour Diary - Day 18

Tom Hamilton, Chris Foy and Owen Slot react to the All Blacks' demolition of Samoa, and what it means for the Lions.

Tour Diary - Day 17

Tom Hamilton is in Rotorua ahead of the Lions clash against the Maori All Blacks.

Adam Jones: Lions must be smarter at scrum time to beat All Blacks

Former Lion Adam Jones believes Gatland's side need to be smarter especially in the scrum if they are to beat the All Blacks.

Life on the farm with Andrew Hore

Tom Hamilton met former All Black Andrew Hore to ask how life has changed since he returned to his farming roots.

Tour Diary - Day 14

Tom Hamilton reflects on the Highlanders' win against the Lions, where Warren Gatland's side were again let down by their lack of discipline.

Tour Diary - Day 13

Tom Hamilton is joined by Chris Jones to visit former All Black Andrew Hore's farm near Dunedin.

Tour Diary - Day 12

Tom Hamilton has touched down in Dunedin where Nando's and Sam Warburton's return are on everybody's lips.

Tour Diary - Day 11

The Lions have a lot to be proud of following their win over the Crusaders, believes Tom Hamilton.

Tour Diary - Day 10

Tom Hamilton brings you the latest from the Lions tour, as they prepare for the match against the Crusaders.

Tour Diary - Day 9

Tom Hamilton brings you the latest from the Lions tour, as they prepare for a Crusaders side packed with All Blacks.

Tour Diary - Day 8

Tom Hamilton reports from Auckland after the tourists suffered their first defeat in New Zealand to the Blues.

Tour Diary - Day 7

Tom Hamilton is joined by Stephen Jones and Alan Dymock to discuss the recent criticism of the Lions head coach Warren Gatland.

Tour Diary - Day 6

Tom Hamilton reports from New Zealand as the Lions prepare to face the Blues.

Tour Diary - Day 5

The Lions were treated to a memorable Maori welcome to mark the true beginning of their tour.

Tour Diary - Day 4

Tom Hamilton reports from Whangarei, where the Lions snuck past the NZ Provincial Barbarians.

Tour Diary - Day 3

Tom Hamilton reports from a wet and windy Whangarei ahead of the Lions' opening match of their tour of New Zealand.

Tour Diary - Day 2

Having been mistaken for a possible Lion, ESPN's Tom Hamilton wonders whether the tourists are being underestimated in New Zealand.

Tour Diary - Day 1

After making the trip from London, Dubai and Melbourne the Lions touched down in Auckland. ESPN's Tom Hamilton was there to give his first tour diary.

What is it like playing under Gatland?

Adam Jones, who played under Lions coach Warren Gatland for Wales, lifts the lid on what it's like to play under his guidance.

Adam Jones' 5 Lions to watch

Adam Jones lists the players the British and Irish Lions will need to be aware of if they want to secure victory in New Zealand.

Adam Jones' 5 All Blacks to watch

Adam Jones lists the players the Lions will need to be aware of if they want to secure victory in New Zealand.

Lions Memories: Martin Johnson

Lions legend Martin Johnson looks back to 1997 for his fondest memory of wearing the famous red jersey.

Lions Memories: Richie McCaw

All Blacks legend Richie McCaw looks back to 2005 in Wellington when his New Zealand side faced the Lions in a defining Test match.

Lions Memories: Gareth Edwards

Welsh legend Gareth Edwards represented the Lions 10 times, he spoke to us about his fondest moment.

Lions Memories: Warren Gatland

Lions coach Warren Gatland looks back to 2013 to when his team had just clinched a memorable series win over Australia.

At home with Anthony Watson

Akin Solanke-Caulker sat down with the England and Lions wing to discuss Lions selection, Eddie Jones and haircuts.

Rewind: Previous Lions Tours

1904: The tourists who awoke the beast

The Lions from the start confronted issues which complicate their existence, and in some cases have persisted to this day. Not the least of their difficulties was raising a half-decent team. The time taken to travel to and from New Zealand in the age before air travel meant that the only players who could accept a tour invitation were those who could afford several months off work.

1908: An unmitigated shambles

The 1908 tour of New Zealand is something of an anomaly. The squad was described, correctly, at the time as an Anglo-Welsh team. It played in red shirts with white hoops and attempted to counter the haka with a 'war cry' consisting of the words "Rule Britannia, Cymru am Byth (both repeated three times) hip, hip, hurrah (also repeated three times)".

1930: The tour remembered most for its manager Bim Baxter

Some Lions tours are associated with particular players, often captains, in the way that the undefeated 1974 team in South Africa will for ever more be identified with Willie John McBride. With others it is coaches -- Carwyn James in 1971 or Clive Woodward in 2005. But the 1930 party which visited New Zealand is remembered most of all for its manager, the forthright James 'Bim' Baxter.

1950: The Lions who revitalised New Zealand rugby

The team of 1950 were the first modern Lions, recognisable except in the matter of playing 30 matches to the eyes of 2017. They adopted the red shirts which are now as synonymous with them as gold is with Australian rugby and Brazilian football, also late adopters. And they were much more representative than their predecessors of the strength of British and Irish rugby.

1959: 'Attacking, silly rugby' that won Kiwi hearts

No British & Irish Lions party can have departed with less reason to hope, but few have returned to greater acclaim than Ronnie Dawson's 1959 team. They did not win the Test series, but could claim to have got closer to beating New Zealand than any of their predecessors.

1966: 'Haphazard' Lions continue decade to forget

The 1966 Lions could have got everything right and still lost their Test series against the All Blacks. By ultimately they were the co-conspirators in their own downfall.

1971: The Lions that stand alone in history

The Lions team of 1971 stands out from the other 11 which have visited New Zealand by virtue of one fact -- they won.

1977: Injuries, intolerable hope & relations

Measured purely by results the 1977 British & Irish Lions were among the most successful visitors to New Zealand, winning one Test out of four and coming within minutes of sharing the series. But it certainly was not seen that way at the time. Few if any Lions teams have been quite such a disappointment.

1983: The tour that began in hope but ended in calamity

The 1983 Lions tour of New Zealand looks to modern eyes like a marathon, an 18-match expedition including four tests. But to contemporaries, not least the Lions management team of Willie John McBride and coach Jim Telfer, who had been team-mates on the 35-match trip to New Zealand, Australia and Canada in 1966, it looked more like a sprint.

1993: The tour of great missed opportunity

The 1993 British Lions tour to New Zealand, the first for a decade, the last by players who were still officially amateur and the first since 1908 with only three Tests rather than four, comes into the category of 'missed opportunities'. Like the squad who visited Australia four years earlier they went into the final Test with a chance to win the series, but they didn't.

2005: The tour that threatened the Lions' existence

The most recent British & Irish Lions trip to New Zealand is by definition the most vividly remembered, not least by those of us who were lucky enough to be there. Yet it was at the time a venture whose failure, with a comprehensive whitewashing in the tests, seemed to threaten the future of the Lions.

Fun & Games

The Lions XV to face the All Blacks voted by you

The Lions will name their first to face the All Blacks on Wednesday -- these are the players who ESPN's readers have voted will start on Saturday at Eden Park.

Pick your Lions XV

Who do you think should start the first Test against the All Blacks on June 24? Ranked the contenders to let us know.

5 Lions to watch

Which players will be crucial as the Lions attempt to secure a series win over the All Blacks?

Not-so-early predictions

Ahead of the first game of the tour against the NZ Provincial Barbarians, we asked our experts to look into their crystal balls.

Lions Tour tipping game

Earn bragging rights among your friends by predicting the winner of all 10 tour matches.