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Fading northern lights

John GriffithsJanuary 20, 2015
Australia lost three games on the spin in November - including defeat to England at Twickenham © Getty Images
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When was the last time - if ever - that one of the Tri-Nations lost three or more Tests on a northern tour? asked Peter Ross from Australia

Australia lost 29-26 to France, 26-23 to Ireland and 26-17 against England on successive Saturdays in November. That was the first time they had suffered three Test defeats on a northern tour since 2005, when George Gregan's side lost 16-26 to both France and England, and 22-24 to Wales.

The Wallabies were beaten three times on each of their tours of the Home Unions in 1975-76 and 1981-82. They also lost to Scotland, Ireland and France on the 1966-67 tour and before that uniquely suffered a whitewash at the hands of the Five Nations in 1957-58.

The last Tri-Nations side to experience three Test defeats in Europe were Corné Krige's Springboks in 2002. They were beaten 30-10 by France, 21-6 by Scotland and 53-3 by England - the worst return for any northern visit made by South Africa, though Dawie de Villiers' team lost two and drew two of the four Tests on the demo tour in 1969-70.

The All Blacks have never lost more than two Tests to European opposition on northern tours. Their worst returns were in 1935-36 - when they lost 12-13 to Wales and 0-13 to England - and 1953-54 - lost 8-13 against Wales and 0-3 to France.

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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