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.
|1903 British Lions tour|
to South Africa
|Date||9 July – 12 September|
|Tour captain(s)||Mark Morrison|
|Test series winners||South Africa (1–0)|
|Top test point scorer(s)||John Gillespie (4)|
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.
- Manager: Johnny Hammond
|1903 British Lions tour to South Africa|
|1||9 July||Western Province Country||Cape Town||Lost||7–13|
|2||11 July||Western Province Towns||Cape Town||Lost||3–12|
|3||13 July||Western Province||Cape Town||Lost||4–8|
|4||18 July||Port Elizabeth||Port Elizabeth||Won||13–0|
|5||20 July||Eastern Province||Port Elizabeth||Won||12–0|
|7||25 July||King William's Town||King William's Town||Won||37–3|
|8||27 July||East London||East London, Eastern Cape||Won||7–5|
|9||1 August||Griqualand West||Kimberley||Lost||0–11|
|10||4 August||Griqualand West||Kimberley||Lost||6–8|
|17||26 August||South Africa||Johannesburg||Draw||10–10|
|18||29 August||Orange River County||Bloemfontein||Won||17–16|
|19||2 September||Griqualand West||Kimberley||Won||11–5|
|20||5 September||South Africa||Kimberley||Drew||0–0|
|21||10 September||Western Province||Cape Town||Drew||3–3|
|22||12 September||South Africa||Cape Town||Lost||0–8|
|South Africa||10–10||British Isles|
Con: Heatlie (2)
Con: Gillespie (2)
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
|South Africa||0–0||British Isles|
Athletic Ground, Kimberley
Referee: PW Day (South Africa)
|South Africa||8–0||British Isles|
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
- FOOTBALL. NOTES BY FULL BACK. Otago Witness , Putanga 2590, 4 Whiringa-ā-rangi 1903, Page 58 – containing a profile of the 1903 British touring side
- Never capped for Scotland.
- Sewell 1919, pp. 179–180.
- The great history of green and gold by Harry Jones on The Roar website, 7 Sep 2016
- Sewell, Edward Humphrey Dalrymple (1919). The Rugby Football Internationals Roll of Honour. London, Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack.