The 1933–34 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain was the fifth Kangaroo tour, and took the Australia national rugby league team around the north of England, to London and Paris. The tour also featured the 11th Ashes series which comprised three Test matches and was the first to be won by Great Britain in a clean sweep. The squad's outbound journey was marred by tragedy when Sydney University centre Ray Morris contracted meningitis en route and died in hospital. The tour match played at Stade Pershing in Paris on New Year's Day 1934 was the first rugby league international played in France.
Frank McMillan was named as captain-coach of the touring squad after his Queensland counterpart Herb Steinohrt declared himself unavailable to tour. George Bishop and Ernie Norman were selected but ruled out of the tour before the squad left Sydney. Vic Hey and "Mick" Glasheen took their places.
Les Heidke was suffering from leg ulcers before the squad left Sydney and Dan Dempsey was brought in to take his place. The Queenslanders in the squad all contributed £10 to enable Heidke to make the tour as a private citizen and to perhaps recover in time to play. Heidke sailed with the squad from Sydney on the SS Manduna bound for Melbourne where they boarded the SS Jervis Bay for England. At sea Heidke's condition did not improve and he was put off the ship in Perth and headed home.
Exhibition matches were played in Colombo, Sri Lanka and in Egypt. Sydney University centre Ray Morris contracted an ear infection at sea. In the Mediterranean his condition worsened and he was put off the ship in Malta and hospitalised in Valletta. Two days later he died of meningitis.
The three Ashes series tests took place at the following venues. Two of the tests were played at Swinton.
7 October 1933
|The Lions||4 – 0||Australia|
Jim Sullivan (2)
The Australian team enjoyed an eleven match winning streak on the tour matches leading into the first Test. For the first sixty-five minutes of the match there was no score in the muddy conditions, then Lions fullback Jim Sullivan proved the difference with two penalty goals.
11 November 1933
|The Lions||7 – 5||Australia|
Jim Sullivan (2)
Dave Brown (1)
16 December 1933
|The Lions||19 – 16||Australia|
Jim Sullivan (5)
Dave Brown (5)
In winning the match which was played in thick fog, England became the first team to post a 3–0 clean sweep in an Anglo-Australian Test series.
Matches of the tourEdit
|1||St Helens Recs||13||9||26 Aug 1933||City Road, St. Helens||8,880||Tour match|
|2||Leigh||16||7||30 Aug 1933||Mather Lane, Leigh||4,590||Tour match|
|3||Hull Kingston Rovers||20||0||2 Sep 1933||Craven Park, Hull||7,831||Tour match|
|4||Bramley||53||6||6 Sep 1933||Barley Mow, Bramley||1,902||Tour match|
|5||Oldham||38||6||9 Sep 1933||Watersheddings, Oldham||15,281||Tour match|
|6||Yorkshire||13||0||13 Sep 1933||Headingley, Leeds||10,309||Tour match|
|7||Barrow||24||5||16 Sep 1933||Craven Park, Barrow||12,221||Tour match|
|8||Lancashire||33||7||20 Sep 1933||Wilderspool, Warrington||16,576||Tour match|
|9||Wigan||10||4||23 Sep 1933||Central Park, Wigan||15,712||Tour match|
|10||Castleford||39||6||27 Sep 1933||Wheldon Road, Castleford||4,250||Tour match|
|11||Halifax||16||5||30 Sep 1933||Thrum Hall, Halifax||10,358||Tour match|
|12||The Lions||0||4||7 Oct 1933||Station Road, Swinton||34,000||Test match|
|13||Bradford Northern||7||5||11 Oct 1933||Birch Lane, Bradford||3,328||Tour match|
|14||Warrington||15||2||14 Oct 1933||Wilderspool, Warrington||16,431||Tour match|
|15||Hunslet||22||18||18 Oct 1933||Parkside, Hunslet||6,227||Tour match|
|16||Salford||9||16||21 Oct 1933||The Willows, Salford||15,761||Tour match|
|17||Widnes||31||0||26 Oct 1933||Naughton Park, Widnes||6,691||Tour match|
|18||Wakefield Trinity||17||6||28 Oct 1933||Belle Vue, Wakefield||5,596||Tour match|
|19||Bradford Northern||10||7||30 Oct 1933||Birch Lane, Bradford||3,328||Tour match|
|20||English League||5||7||1 Nov 1933||Clarence Street, York||3,158||Tour match|
|21||Swinton||4||10||4 Nov 1933||Station Road, Swinton||13,341||Tour match|
|22||The Lions||5||7||11 Nov 1933||Headingley, Leeds||29,618||Test match|
|23||Keighley||14||7||14 Nov 1933||Lawkholme Lane, Keighley||3,800||Tour match|
|24||Huddersfield||13||5||18 Nov 1933||Fartown, Huddersfield||7,522||Tour match|
|25||London Highfield||20||5||22 Nov 1933||White City, London||10,541||Tour match|
|26||Broughton Rangers||19||0||25 Nov 1933||Belle Vue, Manchester||5,527||Tour match|
|27||Leeds||15||7||29 Nov 1933||Headingley, Leeds||5,295||Tour match|
|28||St. Helens||20||11||2 Dec 1933||Knowsley Road, St. Helens||5,735||Tour match|
|29||Rochdale Hornets||26||4||5 Dec 1933||Athletic Grounds, Rochdale||3,603||Tour match|
|30||Cumberland||16||17||9 Dec 1933||Recreation Ground, Whitehaven||5,800||Tour match|
|31||The Lions||16||19||16 Dec 1933||Station Road, Swinton||10,900||Test match|
|32||York||15||7||23 Dec 1933||Clarence Street, York||6,500||Tour match|
|33||Hull F.C.||19||5||25 Dec 1933||The Boulevard, Hull||16,341||Tour match|
|34||Wales||51||19||30 Dec 1933||Wembley, London||10,000||International|
|35||England||63||13||31 Dec 1933||Stade Pershing, Paris||5,000||International|
|36||Oldham||38||5||10 Jan 1934||Watersheddings, Oldham||4,000||Tour match|
|37||England||14||19||13 Jan 1934||Redheugh Park, Gateshead||15,576||International|
- The first Australian side to play a rugby exhibition match in Ceylon and Egypt.
- The first Australian side to play a match under lights.
- The first English side to win the Ashes in a clean sweep.
- The first rugby international to be played in France.
- Dave Brown's tour point-scoring record of 285 points (19 tries and 114 goals) remains unsurpassed.
- Whiticker, Alan & Hudson, Glen (2006) The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, Gavin Allen Publishing, Sydney
- Andrews, Malcolm (2006) The ABC of Rugby League Austn Broadcasting Corpn, Sydney
- Whiticker p96
- Andrews The ABC of Rugby League
- Whiticker p97