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.
They were the first Lions to tour after the war, and the first to visit New Zealand since 1930. And just as the 1945-6 New Zealand Forces ‘Kiwis’ touring team had played their postwar matches in Britain, Ireland, France and Germany with the fearless élan of men just released from much greater perils than losing a rugby match, so the 1950 Lions defined an attacking style.
The 1950s was anything but an era of attacking rugby. It culminated in the average number of points in Five Nations matches dropping into single figures. But the decade’s three Lions teams offered a dashing counterpoint to prevailing conservatism.