Lions tour ratings

Sky Sports rugby union writer Tony Curtis assesses how the British and Irish Lions squad fared during their 2013 tour Down Under.

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 07/07/13 12:53pm

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For the British and Irish Lions, it is the tour when they ended their 16-year wait for a series victory.

After 10 matches, they finished with an impressive eight victories - and crucially sealed a 2-1 triumph in their clashes with Australia, their first series success since they toppled South Africa in 1997.

There was little to choose between them and the Wallabies in the first two Tests, with the Lions winning the opener 23-21 and the hosts levelling with a 16-15 victory in Melbourne.

However the Lions clinched the decider in emphatic fashion with a record-breaking 41-16 win in Sydney.

And as the dust settles on a memorable series, will assess how the players fared over a gruelling six weeks.

Leigh Halfpenny (P: 5+1; Pts: 114 - 3 tries )

Halfpenny underlined his status as one of leading full-backs in world rugby. He barely put a foot wrong during a magnificent tour. His kicking was a pleasure to behold, while he also shone with the ball in hand and in defence. 10

Stuart Hogg (P: 4+1; Pts: 23 - 1 try)

The young Scotland full-back can return home with his head held high after a promising tour. The 21-year-old, the youngest member of the squad, looked good playing in his natural position and shone at fly-half against the Combined County XV, although he was exposed there by the Brumbies. (P: 4+1; Pts: 23) 6

Rob Kearney (P: 2+1)

He received plenty of stick from his team-mates after a hamstring injury ruled him out the start of the tour. Kearney, though, went on to make three appearances, and despite impressing it was too late. 6

Tommy Bowe (P: 4; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

The Ireland winger had looked in impressive form early on the tour, only for a broken hand against the Reds to seemingly end his tour. A remarkable recovery, though, saw him appear in the last two Tests. 7

Alex Cuthbert (P: 4; Pts: 20 - 4 tries)

Arguably the unluckiest man on the tour. Cuthbert crossed for four tries in four appearances but despite his crucial score in the first Test, he was benched for the second Test and then omitted completely for the decider. 7

George North (P: 5+2; Pts: 20 - 4 tries)

A strong contender for the man of the series, North was simply irresistible. He crossed for four tries - including ones in the first and third Tests - and putting in some eye-catching displays. His clash with Israel Falou was one of the highlights on the tour. 9

Sean Maitland (P: 5; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

Some lively displays early on in the tour saw Maitland force his way into the Test squad, although he was an unused replacement. There was plenty of hard graft from the Scotland wing and he was rewarded with a try against the Rebels. 7

Simon Zebo (P: 3)

A late arrival on the tour, the Irishman almost had a dream start - with only a last-ditch tackle denying him a try against the Waratahs. His enthusiasm was infectious while his work-rate was exemplary. 7

Shane Williams (P: 1)

There was no fairytale ending for the Welsh wizard, who answered Gatland's controversial call to play against the Brumbies. Despite a bright start the game seemed to pass Williams by as the Lions suffered a shock loss. 4

Christian Wade (P: 1)

Like Williams, Wade will no look back at his sole appearance with many fond memories. However unlike Williams has time on side and can only learn from the experience. 4

Brad Barritt (P: 2)

The England centre was drafted in as the Lions attempted to combat their injury crisis and the lack of preparation told against the Brumbies. There was some redemption against the Rebels, though. 5

Jonathan Davies (P: 6+1; Pts: 15 - 3 tries)

There was immense pressure heaped on his young shoulders following of his inclusion ahead of Brian O'Driscoll for the final Test. He rose to the occasion to wrap up a memorable tour for the rising star. 8

Brian O'Driscoll (P: 4; Pts 15 - 3 tries)

The legendary centre has had his unfair share of Lions heartbreak and the 2013 was no different with O'Driscoll denied a final farewell in Sydney. It was a cruel nlow as BO'D had done little wrong and was the Lions' leading tackler in the first Two Tests. 8

Jamie Roberts (P: 4; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

The remarkable powers of recovery of the 'Doc' saw him make a timely return for the decisive third Test. The Lions had missed his brute force in the first two Tests, however he shook off a hamstring and some early tour struggles to score in Sydney. 7

Manu Tuilagi (P: 3+1)

The tour never really took off for Tuilagi as he struggled to recreate with form for club and country. He had looked promising against the Force but a shoulder injury meant he made just four appearances - although he did make a cameo in the third Test. 6

Billy Twelvetrees (P: 1+1)

Like Barritt, Twelvetrees was flown in at late notice and he endured a torrid time as he was repeatedly smashed by the Brumbies. Showed his versatility against the Rebels and will grown from.this. 4

Owen Farrell (P: 3+4; Pts: 51 - 1 try)

The young fly-half could well have come of age on the tour with some encouraging displays. His defensive and kicking qualities are well known, however he showed an ability to play flat and attack the opposition. 7

Jonny Sexton (P: 5+2; Pts 19 - 3 tries)

The Irishman was consistency personified throughout the tour. Freed of the responsibility of goalkicking, Sexton was able to show his attacking panache. There were a couple of defensive blips in the Tests, however he weighed in with three tries. 8

Conor Murray (P: 3+4; Pts: 10pts - 2 tries)

The Irishman made a massive impact off the bench in the second and third Tests and was unlucky not to have started. He was a lively presence throughout and he was able to supply the backs with quick ball. 7

Mike Phillips (P: 4+1; Pts: 10 - 2 tries)

Phillips had got the tour off to a stunning start with two tries against the BaaBaas, however he was plagued by a knee injury and struggled in the Tests. There were some bright moments but he was well targeted by Ben Mowen. 6

Ben Youngs (P: 3+4; Pts: 10 - 2 tries)

Can count himself unlucky to have been axed for the final Test after some encouraging performances. He appeared in seven of the 10 games, including in the first two Tests, to prove his importance on the tour. 7

Dan Cole (P: 3+6)

With Jones ahead of his in the pecking order for the No 3 jersey, Cole was always going to struggle to start the Tests. However he proved to be a valuable member and the opening Barbarians game was the only one he wasn't involved in. 7

Alex Corbisiero (P: 4+2; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

Few players in Lions history can have had a bigger impact after arriving tour as a replacement. Corbisiero helped provide the platform off which the Lions won the first and third Tests, with his work in the scrum exemplary, while he also proved his value in the loose. 9

Tom Court (P: 0+1)

A truly bizarre moment saw the Ireland prop appear for 25 minutes against the Rebels. Court was called in as cover while on holiday in Sydney - and his appearance gives us all hope of playing for the Lions. 3

Ryan Grant (P: 2+1)

Arrived on the tour as the Lions faced a loosehead injury crisis, Grant was keen to make up for lost time following his initial omission. Showed his strength in the scrums but was surprisingly unused in the second Test. 6

Cian Healy (P: 1+1)

Healy had been tipped for a place in the Test team but an ankle injury meant he was on the way home after just the second game - but not before he was cleared by a disciplinary hearing. 5

Adam Jones (P: 5+1)

The beast of a front-row wasn't included on tour for his work in the loose, he was brought to scrum the life out of the Australians and he succeeded. Fitness might have been an issue however he was the cornerstone of the Lions pack. 8

Matt Stevens (P: 2+4)

A shock inclusion when the squad was announced given he had retired from international in 2012 - and the prop was never in danger of appearing in the Tests. He was a decent squad man to have about off the field but hardly impressed on it. 5

Mako Vunipola (P: 4+3; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

Hopefully the young prop won't be remembered solely for his scrum issues in the second Test. Vunipola showed his mental strength to recover while his work-rate in the loose was something else. 7

Rory Best (P: 2+2)

Having been initially overlooked for the tour Best got his chance following Dylan Hartley's ban, however the Ireland hooker failed to impress. Lineout issues dogged him throughout the tour and he seemed a shadow of the player that had led Ireland. 4

Richard Hibbard (P: 4+5; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

Recovered from some shaky moments - particularly in the lineout - early on tour to play a starring role in the third Test victory. Like Cole, he missed just the one game. 8

Tom Youngs (P: 4+3)

His journey from centre to hooker is well documented, but on this tour Youngs took a giant step forward. His lineouts were sharp, he scrummed hard and he was a terrier in the loose. He has a bright future ahead of him. 8

Ian Evans (P: 4)

The Wales lock was consistency personified and was unlucky not to have had the chance to win a Test cap. He performed admirably in his four appearances and leaves the tour with his reputation enhanced. 7

Richie Gray (P: 5+1)

The lock stated some strong cases to be involved in the Tests early on the tour, however he had to settle for a cameo in Sydney. He was a towering presence in the lineout, while there were plenty of positives about his work in the loose. 7

Alun-Wyn Jones (P: 5+2; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

Wrote himself into the history books as the man that led the Lions to the crucial victory in Sydney. He rose to the challenge of captaincy and was a class act throughout the tour. 9

Paul O'Connell (P: 3+1)

A true colossus on the tour, the Lions missed O'Connell's influence in the second Test - with a fractured arm in the first Test victory prematurely ending his involvement. He hit every ruck like his life depended on it, while he was an influential figure even when injured. 8

Geoff Parling (P: 3+4; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

Deservedly earned his place in the Test team and despite having some big boots to fill, he performed admirably. His tap-tackle of Jesse Mogg in the third Test was a highlight, while he won respect with his leadership. 8

Tom Croft (P: 3+2; Pts: 10 - 2 tries)

A perception that he spent more time on the wing dogged Croft on the tour however it is an unfair assessment for a player did plenty of unseen graft and was a valuable outlet in the lineout. Somewhat harshly jettisoned from the squad for the third Test. 6

Dan Lydiate (P: 5+3; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

Despite injuries hampering him pre-tour, there was no wrapping Lydiate in cotton wool. He was a defensive stalwart, who finished the tour as top tackler. He brilliantly managed to keep Will Genia under wraps in the Tests. 8

Sean O'Brien (P: 5+1; Pts: 10 - 2 tries)

The Irishman impressed every time he played and was one of the unsung heroes of the tour. Having come off the bench to good effect in the second Test, O'Brien started the decider and was vital to the win with 15 tackles. 9

Justin Tipuric (P: 3+3)

He put in some eye-catching displays early on in the tour and was finally rewarded with a Test cap off the bench in Sydney. Tackled his heart out and got through more than his fair share of work at the breakdown. 7

Sam Warburton (P: 4)

The tour skipper didn't enjoy the best of starts with injury, competition and then a stuttering display against the Reds. However he was a different animal in the Tests, making 23 tackles, and the Lions missed him in the final 14 minutes in Melbourne as Australia hit back. 8

Toby Faletau (P: 5+2)

The tour stats speak for themselves. No one made more carries or beat more defenders than the unassuming Wales No 8, while he also got through a staggering amount of work in defence. 9

Jamie Heaslip (P: 5+1; Pts: 5 - 1 try)

The Ireland captain showed plenty of endeavour and relished the fight for the No 8 jersey. Made 202m, 42 tackles and 63 carries during the tour and even proved his value in the lineout with 15 takes.7

Dylan Hartley and Gethin Jenkins were named in the original touring party but never played. Hartley was replaced after he was banned for his red card in the Aviva Premiership final, while Jenkins returned home after failing to recover from a calf injury.

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