Warret Gatland, who had been part of Ian McGeechan’s coaching team on the 2009 South Africa tour, was appointed as the new coach in charge accompanied by his assistants: Rob Howley (attack), Graham Rowntree (of pillars), Andy Farrell ( defense) and Neil Jenkins (kickers).
The Welshman named his squad with 16 compatriots, 14 from England, 12 from Ireland and four Scots. He also chose Sam Warburton as team captain.
In total, the tour had ten games and was a resounding success for the British, as they not only won the series against Australia 2-1, but also triumphed in six of their other seven commitments with provincial teams.
The Lions came to Australia and won their first four games against provincial teams. They started with a 59-8 win against the Barbarians, then again overwhelmed, but this time 69-17, the Western Force. The third match was closer and they achieved a laborious victory by 22 to 12 over the Queenslands Reds to return to thrashing in the fourth presentation by 64 to 0 to NSW-Queensland Country XV.
The fifth game was an overwhelming difference against the Waratahs with 30 points from Leigh Halfpenny to prevail 47-17.
There came the first crash of the tour, when the Brumbies defeated them 14-12 in the last game before playing the expected series against the Wallabies.
The first test was played in Brisbane and will remain in everyone’s memory for the great work of the Gatland team and the uncertain result until the end.
With tries by George North and Alex Cuthbert, added to three penalties and two conversions by Leight Halfpenny, the British rounded off the great victory that could have been for anyone, since in the last penalty of the match on the hour executed by Kurtley Beale, the kicker slipped and missed the goalpost. The game then went to the Lions by a tight 23-21.
A new friendly played during the week resulted in another 35-0 win for the British Lions against Melbourne Rebels to arrive toned for a rematch against the Wallabies.
It was played at Docklands Stadium and this time it was the Australian team who benefited from the failed execution of the Lions on the last ball of the game.
Halfpenny’s kick from the middle of the court did not go through the posts and, in this way, Australia clung to a victory by the slightest difference with a 16 to 15 that left open the chance to define who would stay with the series in the last match.
With Captain Warburton ruled out for the decisive engagement due to injury and the replacement of Alun Wyn Jones, the Lions were looking for a win to win the series against the Australians.
This is how, with a great performance, the team led by Warren Gatland achieved a gigantic and historic victory, and with an excellent second half they sealed the success by 41 to 16.
After going into halftime 19-10 ahead, the best of B&I Lions was yet to come. But in the second half came the overwhelming dominance in the game of the visitors, who with all the lights overwhelmed the Australians. The tries of Manu Tuilagi, George North, Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola and the penalties and conversions of the aforementioned Halfpenny settled the lawsuit in favor of the Gatland men who also obtained a record of points in the match.
The figure of the match was Leight Halfpenny, who hit eight kicks and scored 21 points, beating the record of 20 goals for a British game, a mark shared between Jonny Wilkinson in the 2005 match against Argentina in England and Stephen Jones in 2009 vs South Africa.
Games played: 10; 8 won and 2 lost.
Result of the series against Australia: 2-1.
Coach: Warren Gatland.
Captain: vs Australia: Sam Warburton.
Goal scorer: Leigh Halfpenny, 49 points.
Forwards: Dylan Hartley, Richard Hibbard, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Cian Healy, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Rhys Jones, Matt Stevens, Mako Vunipola, Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Alun Wyn Jones, Paul O’Connell, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Dan Lydiate, Sean O’Brien, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton (captain), Toby Faletau and Jamie Heaslip
Backs: Conor Murray, Mike Phillips, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Jonathan Sexton, Jonathan Davies, Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Roberts, Manu Tuilagi, Tommy Bowe, Alex Cuthbert, Sean Maitland, George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Stuart Hogg, and Rob Kearney.
The 10 matches of the tour
06/01/2013 Barbarians 8-59 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Hong Kong
Points: Tries by Alex Cuthbert and Mike Phillips (2), Jonathan Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate and Paul O’Connell; 3 penalties and 3 conversions by Owen Farrell and 2 conversions by Johnny Sexton
06/05/2013 Western Force 17-69 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Subiaco Oval
Points: Brian O’Driscoll’s Tries (2); Sean Maitland, Owen Farrell, Taulupe Faletau, Jamie Heaslip, Mako Vunipola, Geoff Parling and Johnny Sexton; 2 penalties and 9 conversions by Leigh Halfpenny
06/08/2013 Queensland Reds 12-22 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Suncorp Stadium
Points: Try by Ben Youngs, 5 penalties and a conversion by Owen Farrell.
06/11/2013 New South Wales – Queensland 0-64 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Hunter stadium
Points: Tries of Leigh Halfpenny (2), Alex Cuthbert, Brian O’Driscoll, Mike Phillips, Rory Best, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Roberts, George North and Stuart Hogg: 3 North conversions and 4 Hogg conversions.
06/15/2013 NSW Waratahs 17-47 British & Irish Lions
Stadium from sydney
Points: Tries by Rob Kearney (2), Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Dan Lydiate, 4 conversions and 4 penalties by Rob Kearney and a conversion by Johnny Sexton.
06/18/2013 Brumbies 14-12 British & Irish Lions
Points: Two penalties from Owen Farrell and two penalties from Stuart Hogg.
06/22/2013 Australia 21-23 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Suncorp Stadium
Points: Tries by Alex Cuthbert and George North; 3 penalties and 2 conversions by Leigh Halfpenny
06/25/2013 Melbourne Rebels 0-35 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: Melbourne Rectangular
Points: Tries by Sean Maitland (2), Ben Youngs, Justin Tipuric and Conor Murray; 3 conversions by Stuart Hogg and 2 goals by Owen Farrell.
06/29/2013 Australia 16-15 British & Irish Lions
Points: 5 penalties from Leigh Halfpenny.
07/08/2013 Australia 16-41 British & Irish Lions
Stadium: ANZ, Sydney
Points: Tries by Manu Tuilagi, George North, Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola; 5 penalties and 3 conversions from Leigh Halfpenny.