1903 British Lions tour to South Africa

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1903 British Lions Tour to South Africa
Date 9 July  – 12 September
Coach(es) Johnny Hammond
Tour captain(s) Scotland Mark Morrison
Test series winners Cape Colony flag.png South Africa (1–0)
Top test point scorer(s) Scotland John Gillespie (4)

The 1903 British Isles tour to South Africa was the fifth tour by a British Isles team and the third to South Africa. It is retrospectively classed as one of the British Lions tours, as the Lions naming convention was not adopted until 1950.

Led by Scotland's Mark Morrison and managed by Johnny Hammond the tour took in 22 matches. Of the games three were test matches, played against the South Africa national rugby union team. The British Isles drew the first two test matches and lost the final encounter.

Having lost only one game out of 40 matches in the previous two tours of South Africa, the British Isles team were truly tested by the South African rugby nation on this tour. Of the 22 games played, the tourist won eleven, drew three and lost eight. Unlike past teams, the British Isles three-quarter line was not seen as the team's strongest asset and more reliance was placed in the pack. Of the backs, only Reg Skrimshire, the only Welsh player selected, was judged to have shown any true flair; while the pack failed to live up to expectations, even when led by Scottish power-house David Bedell-Sivright.

The tour included Louis Leisler Greig, who later became well known as a royal equerry, friend of George VI and became a prominent member of the far right January Club.

Touring party[edit]

  • Manager: Johnny Hammond

Full Backs[edit]

Three-Quarters[edit]

Half backs[edit]

Forwards[edit]

Results[edit]

Date Opponent Location Result Score
Match 1 9 July Western Province Country Cape Town Lost 7–13
Match 2 11 July Western Province Towns Cape Town Lost 3–12
Match 3 13 July Western Province Cape Town Lost 4–8
Match 4 18 July Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth Won 13–0
Match 5 20 July Eastern Province Port Elizabeth Won 12–0
Match 6 22 July Grahamstown Grahamstown Won 28–7
Match 7 25 July King William's Town King William's Town Won 37–3
Match 8 27 July East London East London, Eastern Cape Won 7–5
Match 9 1 August Griqualand West Kimberley Lost 0–11
Match 10 4 August Griqualand West Kimberley Lost 6–8
Match 11 8 August Transvaal Johannesburg Lost 3–12
Match 12 11 August Pretoria Pretoria Won 15–3
Match 13 13 August Pietermaritzburg Pietermaritzburg Won 15–0
Match 14 15 August Durban Durban Won 22–0
Match 15 19 August Witwatersrand Johannesburg Won 12–0
Match 16 22 August Transvaal Johannesburg Lost 4–14
Match 17 26 August South Africa Johannesburg Draw 10–10
Match 18 29 August Orange River County Bloemfontein Won 17–16
Match 19 2 September Griqualand West Kimberley Won 11–5
Match 20 5 September South Africa Kimberley Drew 0–0
Match 21 10 September Western Province Cape Town Drew 3–3
Match 22 12 September South Africa Cape Town Lost 0–8

The matches[edit]

First Test[edit]

26 August
South Africa 10–10 British Isles
Try: Dobbin
Frew
Con: Heatlie (2)
Try: Cave
Skrimshire
Con: Gillespie (2)
Wanderers Ground, Johannesburg
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: WP Donaldson (Scotland)

South Africa: CH Jones, DJA Morkel, WA van Renen, JD Krige, J Barry, JM Powell, FJ Dobbin, Alex Frew capt., WMC McEwan, JH Sinclair, JWE Raaff, PARO Nel, BH Heatlie, Joseph Partridge, CB Brown

British Isles: EM Harrison, IG Davidson, RT Skrimshire, LL Greig, GF Collett, JI Gillespie, PS Hancock, FM Stout, Jos. Wallace, TA Gibson, RS Smyth, A Tedford, MC Morrison capt., WP Scott, WTC Cave

Second Test[edit]

5 September
South Africa 0–0 British Isles
Athletic Ground, Kimberly
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: PW Day (South Africa)

South Africa: CH Jones, EAH Gibbs, S Ashley, SC de Melker, J Barry, JM Powell capt., FJ Dobbin, C Currie, HD Metcalf, JS Jackson, JWE Raaff, PARO Nel, GFT Crampton, WC Martheze, CB Brown

British Isles: RM Neill, EF Walker, RT Skrimshire, LL Greig, GF Collett, JI Gillespie, PS Hancock, FM Stout, Jos. Wallace, TA Gibson, RS Smyth, A Tedford, MC Morrison capt., WP Scott, WTC Cave

Third Test[edit]

12 September
South Africa 8–0 British Isles
Try: Barry
Reid
Con: Heatlie
Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Attendance: 6,000
Referee: JH Anderson (South Africa)

South Africa: WA van Renen, JA Loubser, HW Carolin, JD Krige, J Barry, HH Ferris, TEC Hobson, A Reid, MWC McEwan, P Roos, JW Anderson, PARO Nel, JA Botha, BH Heatlie capt., CB Brown

British Isles: RM Neill, EF Walker, RT Skrimshire, LL Greig, GF Collett, JI Gillespie, PS Hancock, FM Stout, Jos. Wallace, TA Gibson, RS Smyth, A Tedford, MC Morrison capt., WP Scott, WTC Cave

References[edit]