How the opening match has shaped past Lions series:
:: There have been 28 previous Lions Tours on which official Tests were played, and 33 series in all - on five occasions, the Lions visited Australia and New Zealand in combined tours.
:: The result of the first Test has matched that of the series on all but eight occasions.
:: Three of those exceptions came when the first Test was drawn - against South Africa in 1903, New Zealand in 1950 and South Africa again in 1962.
:: Only twice in the last 87 years has a team lost the opener and recovered to win the series - Australia in 2001, after the Lions won the opener 29-13, and the Lions themselves after losing the first Test 30-12 on their previous encounter with the Wallabies in 1989. Ieuan Evans’ try and five Gavin Hastings penalties earned a 19-18 win in the decider.
:: Before that, the most recent occasion was in 1930 when the Lions opened with a 6-3 triumph over the All Blacks but lost the four-match series 3-1.
:: The 1989 series was the first time in 90 years that the Lions had won a series after falling behind - they overcame an opening 13-3 loss to beat Australia 3-1 in 1899.
:: The only drawn series occurred in 1962 in South Africa, when the Lions opened with a 23-22 win but had to share the series 2-2.
:: Twice, Lions ‘series’ have consisted of just a solitary match - against New Zealand in 1904 and Australia in 1930 during combined tours of the two nations.
:: In addition there have been two unofficial tours of Argentina, with the Lions winning all four Tests in 1927 and a one-off match in 1936. England also toured the South American country in 1910, winning their only Test with a squad containing three Scottish players which was in some quarters branded as ‘Combined British Isles’, at the same time as the Lions’ trip to South Africa.
:: The Lions’ record also includes the inaugural 1888 tour to New Zealand and Australia, which featured no Tests and several games of Australian rules football, and a home defeat to a Rest of the World XV in 1986.
(All data from www.lionsrugby.com)