The history of Bath Rugby and the British & Irish Lions

31 May 2017

In just a few days time, the British & Irish Lions will kick-off their tour of New Zealand and to mark the occasion, we’ve picked out the Bath Rugby players, who have donned the famous red jersey.  

Frederick C Belson became Bath’s first British & Irish Lion (then named the Anglo-Australian Touring Party) touring Australia in 1899 and was followed four years later by Ronald Joseph Rogers.

90 years after Belson made his bow on tour, Jeremy Guscott, Andy Robinson, Gareth Chilcott were the first Bath players to play under the existing British & Irish Lions banner in 1989 coming back from an opening test defeat to win the overall series.

Guscott went on to play in the subsequent two tours with the British & Irish Lions and was accompanied by the likes of Stuart Barnes and Nigel Redman. Mike Catt also featured on the successful 2-1 tour triumph in 1997 and four years later made the squad alongside Club teammates Iain Balshaw and Matt Perry.

The 2005 and 2009 series included three Bath forwards in the ranks in Matt Stevens (2005), Danny Grewcock (2005) and Lee Mears (2009), but the trio were unable to stop the Lions from slipping to consecutive defeats against New Zealand and South Africa respectively.

Taulupe Faletau*, Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson could become the 16th, 17th and 18th players from the Club to play for the British & Irish Lions and will be looking to play their part in what promises to be an exciting three tests against the reigning World Champions. The 41-strong squad will also play five Super Rugby teams as they contest 10 games in 35 days.  

British & Irish Lions fixtures

3/06/17 – New Zealand Provincial Barbarians v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

7/06/17 – Blues v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

10/6/17 – Crusaders v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

13/06/17 – Highlanders v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

17/06/17 – Maori All Blacks v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

20/06/17 – Chiefs v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

24/06/17 – New Zealand v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

27/06/17 – Hurricanes v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

1/07/17 – New Zealand v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)

8/07/17 – New Zealand v The British & Irish Lions (kick-off 08:35)


Bath Rugby’s British & Irish Lions representatives:  


Frederick C Belson #68


Ronald Joseph Rogers #125


Gareth Chillcott #626

Jeremy Guscott #628

Andy Robinson #631

David Egerton #637 (French Revolution Bi-Centenary Match)


Stuart Barnes #640

Ben Clarke #641

Jeremy Guscott

Andy Reed #645


Jeremy Guscott

Mike Catt #688

Nigel Redman #689


Iain Balshaw #703

Matt Perry #710

Mike Catt


Matt Stevens #741

Danny Grewcock #694


Lee Mears #763

*Taulupe Faletau #779 played on the 2013 Lions tour, whilst still with Newport Gwent Dragons. 

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