Lions Legend: Russell Robins

Russell Robins was an ever-present during the Lions' four-match Test series in South Africa 53 years ago. [more]

Lions Legend: Russell Robins

Russell Robins was an ever-present during the Lions’ four-match Test series in South Africa 53 years ago.

The Wales and Pontypridd back row earned Lions selection as a 23-year-old, just two years after making his international debut in 1953.

By playing in 17 of the 24 tour matches, Robins appeared in more games than any other Lion during the arduous three-month tour.

A talented ball player who enjoyed the physical aspects of the sport, Robbins excelled against the physical challenge presented by the Springboks and other South African opposition.

He faced the challenge head on, playing arguably the best rugby of his union career as the Lions came close to recording their first series victory over the Boks since 1896.

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By the time the Lions made their next trip to the Southern hemisphere in 1959, Robins was in the form of his life. Unfortunately for tour captain Ronnie Dawson and the Lions committee, Robins was no longer available for selection. He had since moved north to try his hand at the 13-a-side version of the game with the Leeds Rugby League Club.

Russell Robins factfile

Date of birth: February 21 1932
Club: Pontypridd
International caps: Wales 13

Robins' Lions lowdown

Lions debut: Versus Griqualand West, June 25, 1955
Lions Tests: 4 (All four Tests in 1955)
Lions non-Test appearances: 13
Total Lions appearances: 17
Lions points: 0
Final Lions appearance: Versus South Africa, Port Elizabeth, September 24, 1955

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