Bryn Meredith, three times a Lion in 1955, â0059 and â0062, and Russell Robins, a Test player in â0055, were among those who continued to play because playing was what they loved to do.
â00We did have a message sent that, once you were selected for the Lions, you must not play club rugby,â0 said Meredith, who won eight Test caps for the Lions against the Springboks and also toured Australasia.
â00I was on tour with Newport in 1955 and, I can tell you, I played. I played under the name of A.N. Other.
â00My father was wild with me. â00You might have got injuredâ00 he said, and all the rest of it.â0
Robins and Meredith both played after receiving their prized Lions letter
It was a similar story for Pontypridd No8 Robins as his respect and admiration for a fellow player outweighed any thoughts of a possible injury ending his Lions dream.
â00I was asked to play for the Academicals up in Merthyr,â0 said Robbins, who started all four Tests in South Africa during the 2-2 series draw 53 years ago.
â00At first I said, â00No I canâ00t, weâ00re not supposed toâ00.
â00Then it appeared that Les Mansfield was going to be playing for the Accies in his last game. I loved Les so I went up and played.â0
That decision provided Robbins with one of his favourite Lions stories as a local Welsh supporter outlined the lengths to which he was willing to go to follow the Lions in South Africa.
â00After the match, I was in the bar and this guy came up to me,â0 recalled Robbins.
â00He said to me, â00Congratulations Russell on being selected for the Lions. I hope to come and see youâ00.
â00â00Thank you very much,â00 I said. â00When are you flying?â00 â00Oh, Iâ00m not flying,â00 he said. â00Sailing?â00 I said. â00No, Iâ00m going by motorbike.â00
â00He intended to go from Merthyr to France, through Spain, across to Gibraltar and down to Africa. Unsurprisingly, he never made it!â0