Fact is that the 1955 British and Irish Lions were considered by Danie Craven to be the best side (that was before the 1974 Lions) to have toured South Africa. So not all Lions sides was poor as Marais seems to have thought at the start of the 1974 Lions tour and a bit of research would have revealed to him that the 1974 side had a core of experienced internationals that toured New Zealand and beaten the All Blacks at home in 1971.
Being a professional cricketer meant I missed selection for the 1974 Lions tour but I was one of only five Englishmen to tour New Zealand three years later. I only played in one of the Tests, the first in Wellington which ended in a 16-12 defeat. It was disappointing because I don’t think I played badly. Hamstring problems curtailed my involvement thereafter.
Lions captain Phil Bennett clears the ball under pressure during the second Test of the 1977 tour. The Lions won the match 13-9 in Christchurch, but they lost the series 3-1. Fly-half Bennett, who was also on the famous 1974 Lions tour of South Africa, played 29 times for Wales between 1969 and 1978