The 1981 Springbok tour schedule (map)

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Use the index to find out what happened when the Springboks visited in 1981.

This was a tour of New Zealand's provincial heartland – to the homes of grassroots rugby – but the 1981 Springbok tour, which began in Gisborne on 22 July, pitched New Zealanders against each other.

Anti-tour protestors turned up to every match, and in centres all around the country match day became a day of action. At the three test matches, in particular, pro-tour and rugby fans clashed head on with the anti-tour movement.

Many have commented that it was a miracle that no one was killed. The police presence grew during the tour and included two riot squads, Red and Blue. Kitted out in visored helmets and carrying PR24s or long batons, they became an enduring symbol of the tour, as were the anti-tour protestors in their crash helmets, shields and body armour.

[Note: since publishing this interactive a mistake has been brought to our attention - the 8 September game against North Auckland should be at Whāngārei, not Whanganui. We will update the map when a new non-Flash version is developed.]



How to cite this page

'The 1981 Springbok tour schedule (map)', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 19-Sep-2014

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