Undefeated: The Story of the 1974 Lions
Rhodri Davies Other books by Rhodri Davies
In the summer of 1974 the British and Irish Lions rugby team did something that no other side had ever done before. They returned from a twenty-two-match, four-Test tour to the southern hemisphere unbeaten. Not only did they destroy the mythical might of South Africa's Springboks, but they did so against a backdrop of political turmoil, controversy and ostracism at home, as battle lines were drawn against apartheid.
Condemned off the pitch, physically assaulted on it, they were vilified and their feats dismissed. Incredibly, they emerged triumphant, bonded together like no other side in Lions history and with a record that will never be matched.
Yet difficult questions have dogged them over the decades. Should they have gone at all? How does history view them? And how do they view themselves?
For the first time, Rhodri Davies charts the full journey of the '74 Lions, from the epic on-field clashes and the legendary '99' call to the moral dilemmas and the ever-present comparisons with their celebrated predecessors.
Here are "The Greatest Lions" - in their own words.
Category: Sport History
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"This team of all the talents had a collective identity that was second to none... The writer provides a detailed account of the political context within which the tour was played out... With a complete description of each member of the tour party and of each match, this is a fine addition to the rugby bookshelf." - Barri Hurford – Secretary, Welsh Rugby Writers
"Politics and sport should be kept apart. How often have we heard the argument? One of the fiercest political debates involved the British and Irish Lions' tour of South Africa in 1974... Until now, that controversial tour has never been truly recognised from a rugby point of view. The political controversy has always overshadowed what was an unequalled feat for a touring rugby team in the southern hemisphere, which returned unbeaten from a twenty-two match trek that included four Tests. This they did, not only by destroying the mythical might of the Springboks, but – as the author underlines – doing so against criticism and ostracism at home... Certainly, both politics and rugby have a place in Undefeated, a book that is as much a myth-buster as it is a blockbuster." - Lyn Ebenezer, Gwales
"A fascinating and well detailed account, getting in amongst the mud, the boots and the flying fists. For those who remember the 1974 tour or for those with a keen sense of rugby and sporting history this in an undoubted terrific read." - The Sports Book Review.com