1896 | South Africa

Lions Rugby 1896 South AfricaThe British Isles' third rugby tourists returned to South Africa in 1896 to face a stiffer test than they had encountered five years previously.

They were only marginally less successful than their predecessors, though, winning the international series 3-1 and going through their 17-game provincial programme unbeaten, scoring 204 points and conceding 45 in all matches.

The tourists had experience on their side in the shape of two veterans of the 1891 campaign, captain Johnny Hammond and fellow forward Froude 'Baby' Hancock, while for the first time the party contained a major Irish element.

Having won two Championships and a Triple Crown in the previous three seasons, Ireland were the dominant force among the Home Unions at the time, and contributed six internationals to the 21-man squad, including the famous Magee brothers.

Hammond's squad was considered to have an outstanding pack but be comparatively weak in the three-quarter line. Louis Magee and England full-back Fred Byrne were the stars of the backline, but it was a forward eight inspired by Ireland 's Tommy Crean that laid the foundations for success.

Facing a South African side captained by Ferdie Aston, brother of 1891 Lions star Randolph Aston, the star turn of the 1891 British team, the tourists dominated at forward throughout but could only score two tries in an 8-0 win.

South Africa scored their first tries in international rugby in the second Test but still went down 17-8. In the third, the hosts actually led but were overhauled to go down 9-3, with Byrne kicking a conversion and a drop goal to set a record that stood until 1960 as the only man to score 100 points on tour there.

The South Africans' improvement continued, however, and culminated in the tourists' first defeat in the country, a 5-0 reverse at Newlands. Ironically, it was the previously flawless Byrne who lost possession to spark the attack from which Alf Larard scored the game's only try.

test
11/07/1896
Cape Town Clubs
Cape Town Clubs 9-14 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Cape Town Clubs
Cape Town Clubs
Newlands
13/07/1896
Suburban Clubs XV
Suburban Clubs XV 0-8 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Suburban Clubs XV
Suburban Clubs XV
Newlands
15/07/1896
Western Province
Western Province 0-0 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province
Western Province
Newlands
18/07/1896
Griqualand West
Griqualand West 9-11 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Griqualand West
Griqualand West
Kimberley
22/07/1896
Griqualand West
Griqualand West 0-16 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Griqualand West
Griqualand West
Kimberley
25/07/1896
Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth 3-26 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
28/07/1896
Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings 0-18 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings
Port Elizabeth
30/07/1896 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 0-8 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Crusaders Ground
01/08/1896
Grahamstown
Grahamstown 0-20 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Grahamstown
Grahamstown
Grahamstown
04/08/1896
King Williams Town
King Williams Town 0-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A King Williams Town
King Williams Town
King Williams Town
06/08/1896
East London
East London 0-17 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A East London
East London
East London
08/08/1896
Queenstown
Queenstown 0-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Queenstown
Queenstown
Queenstown
12/08/1896
Johannesburg Country
Johannesburg Country 0-7 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Johannesburg Country
Johannesburg Country
Johannesburg
15/08/1896
Transvaal
Transvaal 3-16 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Transvaal
Transvaal
Johannesburg
17/08/1896
Johannesburg Town
Johannesburg Town 0-18 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Johannesburg Town
Johannesburg Town
Johannesburg
19/08/1896
Transvaal
Transvaal 5-16 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Transvaal
Transvaal
Johannesburg
22/08/1896 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 8-17 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Wanderers Ground
26/08/1896
Cape Colony
Cape Colony 0-7 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Cape Colony
Cape Colony
Kimberley
29/08/1896 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 3-9 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Kimberley
03/09/1896
Western Province
Western Province 0-32 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province
Western Province
Newlands
05/09/1896 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 5-0 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Newlands
SurnameFirst namePlayedPointsLast appearance
BellSydney16305/09/1896
BoydCecil12019/08/1896
BulgerLarry201905/09/1896
ByrneFred2110005/09/1896
CareyWalter17205/09/1896
ClinchAndrew21005/09/1896
CreanTom21605/09/1896
HammondJohnny27005/09/1896
HancockFroude33205/09/1896
JohnstonRobert15103/09/1896
LeeGeorge8026/08/1896
MackieOsbert151305/09/1896
MageeJames13005/09/1896
MageeLouis14205/09/1896
MearesArthur12205/09/1896
MortimerWilliam16105/09/1896
MullineuxMatthew22819/08/1899
MullinsCuthbert13029/08/1896
PowellBertie00//
RobinsonCharles8417/08/1896
SealyJim19105/09/1896
ToddAlex19205/09/1896
Overall Stats
Played21Biggest Win32 - 0 (British & Irish Lions v Western Province 1896)
Total Points Scored310Most Points In A Match32 (British & Irish Lions v Western Province 1896)
Total Tries Scored65Most Tries In A Match8 (British & Irish Lions v Western Province 1896)
Total Conversions Scored30Most Conversions In A Match4 (British & Irish Lions v Western Province 1896)
Total Penalty Goals Scored6Most Penalty Goals In A Match2 (British & Irish Lions v Cape Town Clubs 1896)
Total Drop Goals Scored10Most Drop Goals In A Match2 (British & Irish Lions v Golden Lions 1896)
Most Appearances9 (Dan Cole)Highest Attendance7,500
Top Points Scorer114 (Leigh Halfpenny)Total Home Attendance17,000
Top Try Scorer4 (Alex Cuthbert)
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