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1910 British Lions tour to South Africa

The 1910 British Isles tour to South Africa was the eighth tour by a British Isles rugby union team and the fourth to South Africa. It is retrospectively classed as one of the British Lions tours, as the Lions naming convention was not adopted until 1950. As well as South Africa, the tour included a game in Bulawayo in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

1910 British Lions Tour
to South Africa
British isles rugby team 1910.jpg
Official photo of the British Isles team
Date11 June – 6 September
Coach(es)Walter E. Rees
England William Cail
Tour captain(s)Ireland Tommy Smyth
Test series winners South Africa (2–1)
Top test point scorer(s)England Jack Spoors (9)

Led by Ireland's Tommy Smyth and managed by Walter E. Rees and W Cail the tour took in 24 matches. Of the 24 games, 21 were against club or invitational teams and three were test matches against the South African national team. The British Isles team lost two and won one test match against the Springboks.

Seven players from Newport RFC were selected for the tour which was for a time the record for players selected from one club for a British Lions Tour.

The Lions jerseys switched from red to blue, with white shorts and red socks. This combination would remain until 1950.[1]

Team kit

Touring partyEdit

Name Position Club Country


played [3]
played [3]
Stanley Williams Full Back Newport   England  Y  Y  Y 3 13
Mel Baker Three-Quarter Newport   Wales  Y 1 11
Reg Plummer Three-Quarter Newport   Wales 0 12
Maurice Edward Neale Three-Quarter Bristol   England  Y  Y  Y 3 11
Alexander Foster Three-Quarter City of Derry   Ireland  Y  Y 2 15
C.G. Timms Three-Quarter Edinburgh University   Scotland [note 1] 0 11
Jack Jones [note 2] Three-Quarter Newport   Wales  Y  Y  Y 3 17
Jack Spoors Three-Quarter Bristol   England  Y  Y  Y 3 16
Kenneth Berridge Wood Three-Quarter Leicester   England  Y  Y 1
Noel Forbes Humphreys Half back Tynedale   Wales [note 3] 0 5
Arthur Norman McClinton Half back North of Ireland   Ireland 0 8
G.A.M. Isherwood Half back Cheshire and Sale   England [note 3]  Y  Y  Y 3 16
Eric Milroy Half back Watsonians   Scotland 0 4
Tommy Smyth (captain) Forward Newport   Ireland  Y  Y 2 16
William Tyrrell Forward Queen's University   Ireland 0 10
Dyne Fenton Smith Forward Richmond   England  Y  Y  Y 3 20
Phil Waller Forward Newport   Wales  Y  Y  Y 3
James Reid-Kerr Forward Greenock Wanderers   Scotland 0 0
R.C. Stevenson Forward St Andrews University RFC   Scotland  Y  Y  Y 3 12
L.M. Speirs [note 4] Forward Watsonians   Scotland 0 0
E. O'D Crean Forward Liverpool   England [note 3] 0 4
Harry Jarman Forward Newport   Wales  Y  Y  Y 3 14
O.J.S. Piper Forward Cork Constitution   Ireland  Y 1 15
William Albert Robertson Forward Edinburgh University   Scotland 0 10
Charles Pillman Forward Blackheath   England  Y  Y 2 14
William Joseph Ashby Forward Queen's College   Ireland 0 2
F.G. Handford Forward Kersal   England  Y  Y  Y 3 15
Tom Richards Forward Bristol   Australia  Y  Y 2 10
Jim Webb Forward Abertillery   Wales  Y  Y  Y 3 7
  1. ^ Timms was never capped for Scotland.
  2. ^ Jones had also been on the 1908 tour of Australia and New Zealand.
  3. ^ a b c Uncapped
  4. ^ Speirs played no games nor did he appear in the official photograph of the tour, but he is listed as having been selected.


Complete list of matches played by the British Isles in South Africa:[2][4]

     Test matches

Date Opponent Location Result Score
1 11 June South Western Districts Mossel Bay Won 14–4
2 15 June Western Province (County) Cape Town Won 11–3
3 18 June Western Province (College) Cape Town Won 9–3
4 22 June Western Province (Town) Cape Town Drew 11–11
5 25 June Western Province Cape Town Won 5–3
6 29 June Griqualand West Kimberley Lost 0–8
7 2 July Transvaal Johannesburg Lost 8–27
8 5 July Pretoria Pretoria Won 17–0
9 7 July Transvaal (County) Johannesburg Won 45–4
10 9 July Transvaal Johannesburg Lost 6–13
11 13 July Natal Pietermaritzburg Won 18–16
12 16 July Natal Durban Won 19–13
13 20 July Orange River County Bloemfontein Won 12–9
14 23 July Griqualand West Kimberley Lost 3–9
15 27 July Cape Colony Kimberley Lost 0–19
16 30 July Southern Rhodesia Bulawayo Won 24–11
17 6 August   South Africa Wanderers Ground, Johannesburg Lost 10–14
18 10 August North Eastern Districts Burgersdorp Drew 8–8
19 13 August Border East London Won 30–10
20 17 August Border King Williams Town Drew 13–13
21 20 August Eastern Province Port Elizabeth Won 14–6
22 27 August   South Africa Crusaders Ground, Port Elizabeth Won 8–3
23 3 September   South Africa Newlands, Cape Town Lost 5–21
24 6 September Western Province Cape Town Lost 0–8
Pl W D L Ps Pc
24 13 3 8 290 236