BRITISH LIONS RUGBY TOUR. THE AMAZING CAREER OF MULTI-TALENTED SPORTSMAN STAN HARRIS
British Lions South Africa Tour. On the British & Irish Lions 2021 Tour of South Africa Duhan van der Merwe became the eleventh British and Irish Lions who have played against their country of birth.
British Lions South Africa Tour. South Africa born British & Irish Lions Players
Duhan Van der Merwe
’s elder brother. Alker won three caps for the Springboks. Other players like CJ Stander. Played for the Lions against New Zealand in 2017.
Others were Cuth Mullins, for the Lions in 1896. Dyson ‘Tug’ Wilson for the 1955 Lions. Mike Catt for the Lions tour of South Africa in 1977. The other South African-born Lions were Brian Black in 1930. Matt Stevens in both 2005 and 2013. Brad Barritt and Ian Evans in 2013. And Allan Dell 2017.
Then there was the remarkable Stan Harris in 1924. Not only was Harris an outstanding rugby player. But, he also became an international in 1916. Harris recovered to play for Blackheath and five different sports. And was a finalist in the World Amateur Ballroom Dancing Championships. He also survived injuries sustained in the First World War. Also, he was a prisoner of war during the Second World War. Where he worked as a prisoner of war on the Japanese railway in Siam.
Rugby, Modern Pentathlon, Athletics, Boxing, and Ballroom Dancing
Badly injured in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Harris recovered and played for Blackheath after returning to England in 1919. He set try-scoring records for his club. Also, he was selected to play for England against Scotland and Ireland in 1920. In addition, he was asked to join the Great Britain Olympic Modern Pentathlon team. Which was due to compete in the 1920 Antwerp Games. However, he declined the invitation, preferring to commit to rugby.
In 1921 he played for Transvaal in South Africa. And then completed trials for the Springboks. But, he turned down the offer to play against the All Blacks as he continued with a promising athletics career. He won the Transvaal 440-yard hurdles title. Then decided to take up boxing. And he became South African light-heavyweight boxing champion. Also, he was runner-up in the heavyweight division.
Back in England. Harris, broke his leg playing in the final England trial in 1923. It was thought this might end his rugby career. So, he took up ballroom dancing. And went on to win the walz in the World Amateur Championships in London.
In 1924, he made another bold decision. He withdrew from the South Africa Boxing team. Which was to compete at the Paris Olympic Games. Instead, he joined the 1924 British Lions Tour of South Africa squad. He played 15 games and scored four tries. And played in the final two Test Matches in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
British Lions South Africa Tour. – The 1924 Inspiration by Ellis Rugby
The Ellis Rugby British Isles XV clothing range. Is inspired by the 1924 crest. This was the first time the four quartered badge was worn on the jerseys. It was different from the current Lions badge. Also, the House of Lancaster rose was added for England. And a thistle to represent Scotland. Prince of Wales Feathers. In addition, a four-leaf clover for Ireland. The background quarter colours were White, Navy, White & Green. The team kit is a Navy jersey. Red jerseys weren’t introduced until 1950. In addition, Navy shorts with Red and White socks.
Also, excelled in Tennis, Polo
He captained the 1926 Kenyan Colony XV. Then after his rugby days were over he tried his hand at Tennis. He trialed for the 1929 British Davis Cup team. But, was then selected for South Africa and played doubles against Germany in 1931. Finally, he then began a Polo career. Quickly becoming an accomplished player. And he was selected for Great Britain at an international tournament in Deauville, France.
In 1946 Stanley “Stan” Wakefield Harris was awarded the CBE.
British Lions South Africa Tour. Our classic British XV range
Our British Isles XV Clothing range . Inspired by the history of these wonderful pioneers of the game.