Extra entertainment

When the Lions face the Springboks in the second Test in Pretoria on June 27 of this year, you will be hard pushed to find anyone willing to bet that more than 15-22 Lions will take part in the action itself. [more]

Extra entertainment

When the Lions face the Springboks in the second Test in Pretoria on June 27 of this year, you will be hard pushed to find anyone willing to bet that more than 15-22 Lions will take part in the action itself.

We all know that 15 Lions will definitely start the 80 minutes and a further seven could be introduced to the action at some stage, but no other squad members will be stepping on to the field of play expect possibly for the warm up and, hopefully, for an after-match celebration.

Things were a little different in 1980, however.

When Bill Beaumont’s Lions arrived at the same Loftus Versfeld venue for the fourth and final Test of the series, it wasn’t just the matchday squad who got on to the field of play.

A further eight Lions appeared for the South African Barbarians in a specially-arranged curtain raiser against the Junior Springboks immediately prior to the main event.

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Elgan Rees, Jim Renwick and Peter Morgan joined a back line that included the Argentine legend Hugo Porta, while up front, Phil Orr, Gareth Williams, Allan Martin, Alan Tomes and John Beattie all played in a South African Babas pack with French star Jean-Pierre Rives.

On the Junior Springboks side was Australian international Mark Loane, who had faced the Lions twice on the tour with Natal and the South African Barbarians.

Also in the Junior Springboks ranks were future South African internationals Dannie Gerber and Hennie Bekker.

Of even greater significance was the presence of Eroll Tobias and Charles Williams in what was effectively South Africa’s 2nd XV. The pair made history by becoming the first non-white players to wear the green and gold South African jersey.
 
As another interesting aside, included at centre in the Western Province Under 20 team in another of the curtain raisers was Carel du Plessis, the man who went on to coach the Springboks against the Lions in 1997.

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