1888 | New Zealand & Australia

Lions Rugby 1888 Australia & New ZealandJust as rugby union itself began with football, so Lions rugby began with cricket. In 1888, sporting entrepreneurs Alfred Shaw and Arthur Shrewsbury had already successfully exported an English cricket side to tour Australia. Now a rugby version was next on their agenda.

Off the field, the tour hit trouble before it even left England and suffered tragedy with a third of its marathon 54-match course to run. On it, though, and despite not playing Test matches, the pioneers were successful enough to establish for good the concept of British tours to the southern hemisphere.

Shaw and Shrewsbury recruited a 22-man squad encompassing England, Scotland and Wales, but dominated by northern English county players. However, they found themselves travelling with one non-playing member after Jack Clowes was banned by the RFU as a professional for accepting £15 in clothing expenses from the management's agent.

Far worse was to come, however, when the tour captain, Robert Seddon of Swinton and Lancashire, was drowned while sculling on the Hunter River after a game at Maitland, New South Wales, on August 13. The tour continued with Andrew Stoddart, also an England cricket captain, taking over the helm.

The oddessy began in New Zealand seven weeks after the team sailed from England on March 8, and the tourists went through the islands unbeaten until falling to Auckland in the last of their nine games in the first leg of the tour.

Their first five games in Australia were also won and it took a change of code to trip the visitors up. Their next 17 games - and a further one later in the tour - were played under Australian or Victorian Rules.

These matches were staged purely for the benefit of the organisers' profits as they were guaranteed to draw far bigger crowds than union contests. Remarkably, the British team actually won six of these, before reverting to the 15-man code and concluding the tour with an unbeaten return to New Zealand for the final 10 matches.

28/04/1888 14:45
Otago
Otago 1D - 2T 2D British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Otago
Otago
Caledonian Ground
02/05/1888 15:00
Otago
Otago 1G - 1G 1T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Otago
Otago
Caledonian Ground
05/05/1888 14:45
Canterbury
Canterbury 1G 1D - 3G 2T 1D British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Canterbury
Canterbury
Lancaster Park
09/05/1888 15:00
Canterbury
Canterbury 0 - 4T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Canterbury
Canterbury
Lancaster Park
12/05/1888 15:00
Wellington
Wellington 1D - 1G British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wellington
Wellington
Basin Reserve
14/05/1888 15:00
H Roberts XV
H Roberts XV 1T - 1G 1T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A H Roberts XV
H Roberts XV
Basin Reserve
16/05/1888 14:45
Taranaki Clubs
Taranaki Clubs 1T - 0 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Taranaki Clubs
Taranaki Clubs
The Racecourse
19/05/1888 14:55
Auckland
Auckland 1G - 2G British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Auckland
Auckland
Tramway Company Ground
24/05/1888 14:30
Auckland
Auckland 1T 1D - 0 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Auckland
Auckland
Tramway Company Ground
02/06/1888 15:00
NSW Waratahs
NSW Waratahs 1T - 2G 4T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A NSW Waratahs
NSW Waratahs
Association Cricket Ground
07/06/1888 15:00
Bathurst
Bathurst 3T - 1G 4T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Bathurst
Bathurst
Cricket Ground
09/06/1888 15:00
NSW Waratahs
NSW Waratahs 1T 1D - 2G 4T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A NSW Waratahs
NSW Waratahs
Association Cricket Ground
11/06/1888 15:00
Sydney Juniors
Sydney Juniors 0 - 1G 3T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Sydney Juniors
Sydney Juniors
Association Cricket Ground
12/06/1888 15:00
Kings School, Sydney
Kings School, Sydney 2G - 5T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Kings School, Sydney
Kings School, Sydney
Parramatta Cricket Ground
16/07/1888 15:00
Adelaide XV
Adelaide XV 1D - 7G British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Adelaide XV
Adelaide XV
Adelaide Oval
01/08/1888 15:00
Victoria
Victoria 1G - 3G British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Victoria
Victoria
East Melbourne Cricket Ground
04/08/1888 15:00
NSW Waratahs
NSW Waratahs 1T - 2G 3T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A NSW Waratahs
NSW Waratahs
Association Cricket Ground
06/08/1888 15:00
Sydney Grammer School
Sydney Grammer School 1T - 1T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Sydney Grammer School
Sydney Grammer School
Association Cricket Ground
08/08/1888 15:00
Bathurst
Bathurst 2G - 2G 5T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Bathurst
Bathurst
Cricket Ground
11/08/1888 15:00
University Of Sydney
University Of Sydney 1D - 2T 1D British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A University Of Sydney
University Of Sydney
Agricultural Society Ground
18/08/1888 15:15
Queensland Reds
Queensland Reds 1G 1D - 3G 4T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Queensland Reds
Queensland Reds
Exhibition Grounds
21/08/1888 16:00
Queensland Juniors
Queensland Juniors 1G - 1G 7T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Queensland Juniors
Queensland Juniors
Exhibition Grounds
23/08/1888 15:15
Ipswich
Ipswich 1T - 1G 5T 1D British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Ipswich
Ipswich
North Ipswich Reserve
25/08/1888 15:15
Queensland Reds
Queensland Reds 0 - 2G 1T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Queensland Reds
Queensland Reds
Exhibition Grounds
29/08/1888 15:15
Northern Districts
Northern Districts 1G 1T - 7T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Northern Districts
Northern Districts
Newcastle Cricket Ground
08/09/1888 15:05
Auckland
Auckland 0 - 1D British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Auckland
Auckland
Tramway Company Ground
12/09/1888 15:30
Auckland
Auckland 1T - 1T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Auckland
Auckland
Tramway Company Ground
15/09/1888 15:00
Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay 2T - 3T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay
Recreation Ground
17/09/1888 15:00
Wairapapa
Wairapapa 1T - 1G 2T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wairapapa
Wairapapa
Memorial Park
20/09/1888 15:00
Canterbury
Canterbury 0 - 1G 5T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Canterbury
Canterbury
Lancaster Park
22/09/1888 15:00
Otago
Otago 0 - 0 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Otago
Otago
Caledonian Ground
26/09/1888 16:15
South Island
South Island 1D - 1G 2T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Island
South Island
Caledonian Ground
29/09/1888 15:30
South Island
South Island 0 - 1G 1D British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Island
South Island
Lancaster Park
02/10/1888 15:00
Taranaki Clubs
Taranaki Clubs 1T - 1G 1T 1D British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Taranaki Clubs
Taranaki Clubs
Hawera Racecourse
03/10/1888 14:25
Wanganui
Wanganui 1T - 1T British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wanganui
Wanganui
Victoria Park
SurnameFirst namePlayedPointsLast appearance
AndertonJack292803/10/1888
BanksTom7112/09/1888
BrooksH17303/10/1888
BryceTom00//
BumbyWalter23503/10/1888
BurnetBob30303/10/1888
BurnetWillie22003/10/1888
ClowesJack00//
EaglesHarry351503/10/1888
HaslamTommy291629/09/1888
KentTom28703/10/1888
LaingAlex26003/10/1888
MathersCharlie25603/10/1888
McSwaineDavid1021/08/1888
NolanJohnny201522/09/1888
O'Sullivan00//
PaulArthur293203/10/1888
PenkethAlf19103/10/1888
SeddonBob20511/08/1888
SmithJohn9029/09/1888
SpeakmanHarry271403/10/1888
StoddartAndrew285803/10/1888
StuartAngus23103/10/1888
ThomasWilliam28229/09/1888
WadsworthDeacon00//
WilliamsSam321103/10/1888
WilliamsSamuel00//
Overall Stats
Played35Biggest Win28 - 3 (British & Irish Lions v Adelaide XV 1888)
Total Points Scored292Most Points In A Match28 (British & Irish Lions v Adelaide XV 1888)
Total Tries Scored120Most Tries In A Match8 (British & Irish Lions v Queensland Juniors 1888)
Total Conversions Scored40Most Conversions In A Match7 (British & Irish Lions v Adelaide XV 1888)
Total Penalty Goals Scored0Most Penalty Goals In A Match0 ( v )
Total Drop Goals Scored8Most Drop Goals In A Match2 (British & Irish Lions v Otago 1888)
Most Appearances9 (Dan Cole)Highest Attendance18,000
Top Points Scorer114 (Leigh Halfpenny)Total Home Attendance131,000
Top Try Scorer4 (Alex Cuthbert)
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