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An Introduction to the Vintage British Isles Rugby Tour Collection

The Vintage British Isles Rugby Lions Tour Clothing Collection by Ellis Rugby celebrates the history of the great Lions tours.

In 1891 the first rugby tour of South Africa took place when a squad of 21 players received an invitation to play teams from the Western Provence Rugby Football Union. Bill Maclagan captained the tourists. The Rugby Football Union approached Maclagan to captain a British Team to South Africa. The team contained four Scottish players in which is now recognised as the first official British and Irish Lions tour. He played in 19 of the 20 matches, including all three tests.

The quality of the British Isles team was much greater than their South Africa hosts. The British team won 20 consecutive victories and only conceded one point. They defeated all 17 provincial teams and then won all three Test matches. This was the first unbeaten tour.

Vintage-British-Isles-Rugby-Lions-Tour-Shop

Springboks First Ever Test Match

The first Test in Port Elizabeth was the South Africa Springboks inaugural international fixture.

Moreover, on the bone hard grounds of South Africa, Randolph Aston, the Blackheath, Cambridge University, Barbarians FC and England international was a revelation. He was a big man at 15 stone and yet was deceptively quick. He played in all twenty games of the tour including the three Tests, amassing an incredible 30 tries in total. Also, he scored a try in two of the Test matches, the first in Port Elizabeth and the final Test in Cape Town. His Captain Maclagan also scored two tries in the final test of the series.

The Vintage British Isles Rugby Clothing Collection by Ellis Rugby celebrates the great teams, players and events of past tours.

  • British-&-Irish-Polo-Shirt-Retro-Ecru-Navy-Back British-&-Irish-Polo-Shirt-Retro-Ecru-Navy-Front
    British & Irish Shirt Polo Heritage Shirt Red Navy is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours.
    In 1924, the British & Irish rugby team hadn’t toured South Africa for fourteen years and rugby was only just getting back to normal after the First World war. England had dominated the Five Nations Championship and they won seventeen games and drew one from 1920 to 1924. It therefore was strange, that only four members of the England 1924 Grand Slam side and six England full caps were chosen for the trip.
  • British-&-Irish-Rugby-Classic-Sweatshirt-Zipper-Red-Front

    The British & Irish Rugby Classic Sweatshirt Zipper Red is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours.

    The inaugural official tour of South Africa was in 1891 was organised by Joe Richards, a old boy of Leys School in Cambridge. He assembled twenty one players under the Captaincy of London Scottish player, Bill Maclagan. The squad mainly included players from both Oxford and Cambridge. Only nine of the twenty one had played international rugby and of these only five had played in the 1891 Four Nations Championship. These were William Bromet and William Mitchell for England. The Scotland Triple Crown winners were represented by Rob MacMillan, Paul Claus and William Wotherspoon.
  • British-&-Irish-Shirt-Polo-Heritage-Shirt-Red-Navy-Front
    The British & Irish Shirt Polo Heritage Shirt Red Navy is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours.
    In 1924, the British & Irish rugby team hadn’t toured South Africa for fourteen years and rugby was only just getting back to normal after the First World war. England had dominated the Five Nations Championship and they won seventeen games and drew one from 1920 to 1924. It therefore was strange, that only four members of the England 1924 Grand Slam side and six England full caps were chosen for the trip.
  • British-&-Irish-Sweatshirt-Vintage-Rugby-Zipper-Navy-Back British-&-Irish-Sweatshirt-Vintage-Rugby-Zipper-Navy-Front

    The British & Irish Rugby Sweatshirt Vintage Rugby Zipper Navy is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours. It features a crest inspired by the 1924 team.

    The inaugural official tour of South Africa was in 1891 was organised by Joe Richards, a old boy of Leys School in Cambridge. He assembled twenty one players under the Captaincy of London Scottish player, Bill Maclagan. The squad mainly included players from both Oxford and Cambridge. Only nine of the twenty one had played international rugby and of these only five had played in the 1891 Four Nations Championship. These were William Bromet and William Mitchell for England. The Scotland Triple Crown winners were represented by Rob MacMillan, Paul Claus and William Wotherspoon.
  • british-isles-1930-rugby-t-shirt-red-lions-back british-isles-1930-rugby-t-shirt-red-lions-front
    The British Isles 1930 Rugby T-Shirt Red is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours.  The British Isles New Zealand tourists jersey of 1930 wore three heraldic Lions on their badge and this kit was repeated for the 1936 tour of Argentina. On the 1930 tour a delegation led by the Irish lock George Beamish expressed their displeasure at the fact that whilst the blue of Scotland, red of Wales and White of England were represented on the strip there was no green for Ireland. A green flash was added to the socks and the tour is recognised as the first where the team gained its famous nickname ’The Lions'.
  • british-isles-rugby-lions-t-shirt-vintage-red-back british-isles-rugby-lions-t-shirt-vintage-red-front
    The British Isles Rugby T-Shirt 1891 Red is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours. In 1896, the first squad British Isles rugby squad included Irish players who had won the five nations championship. The tourists were captain by the English forward Johnny Hammond. He had been selected for the the first official British Isles tour to South Africa in 1891.
  • springbok-british-isles-rugby-t-shirt-1924-lions-green-back springbok-british-isles-rugby-t-shirt-1924-lions-green-front
    The Springbok British Isles Rugby T-Shirt 1924 Vintage Green is inspired by the history of the British Isles Rugby Lions tours to South Africa. The crest featured on this garment was inspired by the crest worn by the British South Africa Tour of 1924. The team was led by Old Merchant Taylors player Ronald Cove-Smith. It also included the likes of Gloucester’s Tom Voyce and the Scottish duo of Robert Howie and Neil Macpherson. Ireland’s hard tackling ‘Jammie’ Clinch followed in his fathers footsteps - Andrew Clinch who played for the tourists in 1896.

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