Behind the Lions

Behind the Lions



Stephen Jones, Tom English, Nick Cain and David Barnes with Peter Burns, John Griffiths and Ross Harries 


***** – Rugby World

‘A fascinating collection of insights . . . both heart-warming and enthralling’ – The Sunday Times

‘a magical history’ – Daily Telegraph

‘comfortably the most interesting and entertaining history of the Lions’ – The Irish Times

‘A priceless store of material’ – The Scotsman

‘utterly compelling’ – Planet Rugby


This bestselling title covers every tour in the Lions' history, including the historic 2017 tour.


Shortlisted for Rugby Book of the Year at the 2013 British Sports Book Awards


This is the history of the British & Irish Lions . . . in their own words.

For over 130 years the British & Irish Lions have stood out as a symbol of the ethics, values and romance at the heart of rugby union. To represent the Lions is the pinnacle for every international player in Britain and Ireland, and the dream of tens of thousands of avid fans who follow them. A Lions tour, undertaken every four years to the southern hemisphere, is more than a series of rugby matches played out on foreign fields; it is an epic crusade where the chosen few face a succession of mental and physical challenges on their way to the Test arena, where they do battle with the superpowers of the world game.

Behind the Lions sees six esteemed rugby writers delve to the very heart of what it means to be a Lion, using diaries and letters from those who pioneered the concept, to interviews with a vast array of players who have followed in their footsteps. In so doing they have uncovered the passion, pride and honour experienced when taking up the unique challenge of a Lions tour. This is a tale of heart-break and ecstasy, humour and poignancy that is at once inspirational, moving and utterly compelling. And it is the only story worth hearing: the players’ own. 

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