Lions Legend: Sir Carl Aarvold

Sir Carl Aarvold toured with the Lions in 1927 and 1930, captaining the tourists on eight occasions during the second of those trips abroad. [more]

Lions Legend: Sir Carl Aarvold

Sir Carl Aarvold toured with the Lions in 1927 and 1930, captaining the tourists on eight occasions during the second of those trips abroad.

He was one of the stars of both those tours, particularly when the Lions travelled to Australasia for the first time in 22 years.

The Durham-born centre made a name for himself during his time as a student at Cambridge University. While at Emmanuel College, Aarvold won four Blues despite having gone to university with little intention of playing rugby at a serious level. His four appearances in the annual Varsity match brought four victories – an individual record that has never been surpassed.

He was a Grand Slam winner in his first season with England in 1928 and finished his international career five years later with 16 caps to his name.

Outside of rugby, Aarvold was an equally-high achiever.

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He was called to the Bar in 1932 and later became a Circuit Judge and Recorder of London between 1964 and 1975. He chaired various enquiries and presided over many high-profile cases such as the 1965 trial of the Kray twins.

His legal career also saw him serve as the Recorder of Pontefract, Master of the Inner Temple and Senior Judge at The Old Bailey.

For close to 20 years he was President of the Lawn Tennis Association and has since had a prestigious tennis award named after him. The Carl Aarvold Award was introduced a year after he stepped down from the LTA in 1981 and is given to a person who has made a significant contribution to tennis at an international level.

Aarvold was knighted in 1968 and died in March 1992, 14 years before his wife.

Sir Carl Aarvold factfile

Date of birth: June 7 1907
Clubs: Cambridge University, Blackheath and Headingley
International caps: England 16

Aarvold's Lions lowdown
(Not including stats from the 1927 tour which is not listed in official records)

Lions debut: Versus Wanganui, May 21, 1930
Lions Tests: 5 (All five Tests on the 1930 tour of New Zealand and Australia)
Lions non-Test appearances: 13
Total Lions appearances: 18
Lions points: 45* (nine tries) *under the current scoring system
Final Lions appearance: Versus Victoria, Melbourne, September 13, 1930

Life as a Lion

Aarvold was a major figure for the Lions on their 1930 tour, playing in all four Tests against the All Blacks and the solitary international against the Wallabies in the same year.

When tour captain Doug Prentice, the Leicester and England back, decided he was not in good enough form to justify a Test place, Aarvold was the man the Lions turned to provide on-field leadership. With vice-captain Wilf Sobey out injured, Aarvold led from the front in the second, third and fourth Tests against New Zealand.

Aarvold's actions spoke volumes to his fellow players as he scored a brace of tries in the second Test and another in the third encounter in Auckland. Although the Lions lost all three matches against the All Blacks while Aarvold was in charge, there could be now doubt that he had done all he could to inspire the Lions to victory.

A skillful footballer, equally adept at creating tries and scoring them, the manner in which Aarvold crossed the All Blacks line on those three occasions demonstrated his all-round prowess. The Lions' and Aarvold's first score in the second Test in Christchurch saw him leave his opposite man for dead, while his second came from fully 40 metes.

He raced a similar distance three weeks later as he again showed the New Zealand defence a clean pair of heels to give the Lions hope of regaining the series lead.

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