Coach Clive Woodward, who had won the World Cup with England two years earlier, appointed twenty English, eleven Irish, ten Welsh and three Scots players to the roster for the Lions line-up that would go on the New Zealand tour. In addition there would be a preliminary meeting of preparation.
In this way, and before the team left for New Zealand for more than a month, a previous match was played against Los Pumas, a selected team that they had not faced since 1936.
That clash, which in a change of tradition took place on the British shores, more precisely at the Millennium Stadium, ended with an agonizing tie at 25 points and heralded what later became that chaotic and disappointing tour of the Lions.
The Argentine team, in that first match, went to rest up in the score by 19 to 16 with a try scored by José María Núñez Piossek and its corresponding conversion, and four penalties by Federico Todeschini. For his part, Jonny Wilkinson had scored all the penalties with his unerring aim for the Lions.
The second half had the Argentine team led by Daniel Baetti and Marcelo Loffreda on the verge of winning the victory, but Australian referee Stuart Dickinson, under the pressure of the public, played eight minutes of discount. There Wilkinson’s foot appeared again to leave his mark and the British achieved the agonizing tie.
Later on, an All Blacks team inspired by Dan Carter, it was too much for some British who could not face him in any of his three presentations.
Lawrence Dallaglio’s suffered an ankle injury and center captain Brian O’Driscoll was unable to finish the first game against New Zealand at Jade Stadium on his feet as he dislocated his shoulder. That first game of the series was for the Men in Black by 21 to 3.
After three days, and after recovering with a win of more than one hundred points against a Manawatu team, the Brithis were waiting for a rematch to remove the thorn from the previous game.
But in that second test match, they stumbled again. This time, not only with the brilliant game of the New Zealanders, but also against a very inspired young man who added 33 of the 48 points of his team. Dan Carter appeared with only 22 years old, and he carried his team on his shoulder to keep that test and leave the British again in debt, with their second defeat in tow.
The third and final test began promisingly for the Lions, with an inspired Stephen Jones kicking the sticks.
From that, the Lions managed to take a six-point lead; but in the second half the New Zealanders once again took control of the actions and kept the third commitment, with a score of 38 to 19 and decreeing 3 to 0 in the series.
It was a disappointing tour for Clive Woodward’s British Lions and their coaches that ended up in Auckland in the worst way
Games played: 12; 7 Won 1 tied and 4 lost.
Result of the series against Argentina: tie.
Result of the series against New Zealand: 0-3.
Coach: Clive woodward
Captains: vs Argentina: Michael Owen. and vs New Zealand: Brian O’Driscoll, Martin Corry and Gareth Thomas
Goal scorer: Jonny Wilkinson, 20 points vs Argentina and Charlie Hodgson 53 vs New Zealand.
Forwards: Shane Byrne, Simon Easterby, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Malcolm O’Kelly, Gethin Jenkins, Michael Owen, Martyn Williams, Gordon Bulloch, Simon Taylor, Neil Back, Martin Corry, Lawrence Dallaglio, Danny Grewcock , Richard Hill, Ben Kay, Lewis Moody, Graham Rowntree, Andrew Sheridan, Matt Stevens, Steve Thompson, Andy Titterrell and Julian White
Backs: Gordon D’Arcy, Denis Hickie, Shane Horgan, Geordan Murphy, Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara, Gareth Cooper, Gavin Henson, Stephen Jones, Dwayne Peel, Tom Shanklin, Gareth Thomas, Shane Williams, Chris Cusiter, Iain Balshaw , Matt Dawson, Will Greenwood, Charlie Hodgson, Josh Lewsey, Jason Robinson and Ollie Smith.
The 10 matches of the tour
05/23/2005 British & Irish Lions 25-25 Argentina
Stadium: Millennium Stadium
Lions Points: Try by Ollie Smith; 6 penalties and a conversion by Jonny Wilkinson.
Los Pumas points: Try by José María Nunez Piossek, 6 penalties and a conversion by Federico Todeschini.
06/04/2005 Bay of Plenty 20-34 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: International Park
Points: Tries by Josh Lewsey (2), Mark Cueto, Tom Shanklin, Dwayne Peel and Gavin Henson; 2 Ronan O’Gara conversions.
06/08/2005 Taranaki 14-36 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Yarrow Stadium
Points: Tries by Geordan Murphy (2), Shane Horgan and Martin Corry; 4 penalties and 2 conversions by Charlie Hodgson.
06/11/2005 New Zealand Maori 19-13 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Waikato Stadium
Points: Try by Brian O’Driscoll; 2 penalties and a conversion by Stephen Jones.
06/15/2005 Wellington 6-23 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Westpac Stadium
Points: Tries by Gareth Thomas and Gethin Jenkins; 3 penalties and two conversions by Jonny Wilkinson.
06/18/2005 Otago 19-30 British & Irish Lions
Points: Tries by Will Greenwood, Shane Williams and Ryan Jones; 3 penalties and 3 conversions by Charlie Hodgson.
06/21/2005 Southland 16-26 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Rugby park
Points: Tries by Gavin Henson (2), 4 penalties and two conversions by Ronan O’Gara.
06/25/2005 New Zealand 21-3 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Jade Stadium
Points: A penalty from Jonny Wilkinson.
06/28/2005 Manawatu 6-109 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Manawatu Arena
Points: Tries of Shane Williams (5), Jason Robinson, Ronan O’Gara and Charlie Hodgson (2), Geordan Murphy, Jason Robinson, Ollie Smith, Gordon D’Arcy, Gareth Cooper, Martin Corry; 7 conversions by Charlie Hodgson and 5 by Ronan O’Gara.
07/02/2005 New Zealand 48-18 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Westpac Stadium
Points: Tries by Gareth Thomas and Simon Easterby; 2 penalties and a conversion by Jonny Wilkinson.
07/05/2005 Auckland 13-17 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Eden park
Points: Try by Martyn Williams; 3 penalties from Ronan O’Gara and one from Charlie Hodgson
07/09/2005 New Zealand 38-19 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Eden park
Points: Try by Lewis Moody; 4 penalties and a conversion by Stephen Jones.