The victorious British and Irish Lions arrived home this morning following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

The majority of Warren Gatland's playing and management squad landed at Heathrow at dawn and brought with them the Tom Richards trophy, having beaten the Wallabies 2-1.

The Lions achieved only their fifth Test series victory in 125 years, and their first since South Africa in 1997, with a record 41-16 victory in Sydney. While the Lions celebrated, Australia coach Robbie Deans lost his job.

british and irish lions

Sam Warburton clutches the Tom Richards trophy


Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph completed a memorable weekend for British sport and Chris Froome retains the Tour de France yellow jersey while today, England cricket captain Alastair Cook leads his team into the Ashes series.

Twelve months on from the glories of the London 2012 Olympics, Britain is in the grip of another stellar summer of sport.
The Lions launched it with their historic triumph Down Under. After scraping a victory in the first Test and then losing by a point in the second, the pressure on Gatland's men was intense.

Gatland made the biggest selection call of his career when he dropped Brian O'Driscoll and he was shocked by the criticism that came his way but the Kiwi was vindicated by the Lions' thundering performance.

Roared on by 30,000 red-shirted supporters, the Lions stormed to a four-try victory on the back of an awesome scrummaging performance and some touches of genius from Leigh Halfpenny, who was named man of the series.

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  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Stuart Hogg of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    British and Irish Lions' Captain Sam Warburton, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Ben Youngs of the British and Irish Lions', arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    British and Irish Lions' Captain Sam Warburton, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    British and Irish Lions' Captain Sam Warburton, signs autographs as he arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Tom Youngs of the British and Irish Lions', arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Jamie Heaslip of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    British and Irish Lions' Captain Sam Warburton, signs autographs as he arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    George North of the British and Irish Lions', arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    A picture of a Guard on a billboard salutes as Adam Jones (seceond right) and Tommy Bow (left) of the British and Irish Lions, arrive at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Jonathan Davies (left) and Mike Phillips, of the British and Irish Lions arrive at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Owen Farrell of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Leigh Halfpenny of the British and Irish Lions', arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Tom Youngs of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Brian O'Driscoll of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Richard Hibbard of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Fans wait to greet the British and Irish Lions, upon their arrival at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Tom Croft (left) and Alun Wyn Jones of the British and Irish Lions, arrive at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Simon Zebo (right) of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Adam Jones of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.

  • Rugby Union - British and Irish Lions return - London Heathrow Airport

    Matt Stevens of the British and Irish Lions, arrives at Heathrow Airport, following their Test series triumph against Australia, just hours before the England cricket team pick up the baton.