The inspiration behind the British & Irish Shirt Polo
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.
Many key players were unavailable, including England’s Grand Slam Skipper, the legendary Wavell Wakefield. There were no place for Scotland’s formidable Centre pairing – Archibald Gracie and G.P.S. ‘Phil’ Macpherson. And the Ulster and Ireland Centre George Stephenson who would get a world record 42 caps and 89 points, was also omitted.
The Best Ever Rugby Test Match ever played in South Africa
Ron Cove-Smith was made Captain and he had never tasted defeat on the international stage in thirteen outings with England. There is no doubt Cove-Smith was an exceptional player at the heart of the pack that had delivered back-to-back Grand Slams for England in 1923 and 194. However, he’d never Captained an international team before, but with Wales having four different skippers and neither Scotland’s John Buchanan or Ireland’s William Crawford in the squad – Cove-Smith was only the real option.
The 4-Test series went the way of the Springboks. With the British & Irish Rugby team down by Two tests, with one drawn they went in to the final Test match at Newlands, Cape Town hoping to get some respect from the locals. The game was an absolute cracker and many South African critics of the time thought it the perfect game of rugby football. Again South Africa won, but the Lions matched them all the way with some marvellously inventive rugby. Jack Bester scored the first Springbok try and Starke kicked a huge 50-yard drop goal, but a minute later, Tom Voyce kicked a penalty to put the tourists back in the game.
In the second half Starke scored his second try, before Harris crossed for the tourists. Starke then completed his hat-trick, Voyce went over for the Lions and with the game in the balance Slater went over to secure the win for the Springboks. It was reported that this was the best-ever Test match played in South Africa.
Manufacturing Features and Details
The British & Irish Shirt Polo Heritage Shirt Red Navy is made from 100% cotton pique cotton. It features a classic four nations badge embroider. And includes a contrast backed collar, embroider collar stand and herringbone side vents. Also, this garment includes a decorative woven label.
This Sweatshirt is available in sizes S – 5XL.
As well as the British & Irish Shirt Polo Heritage Shirt Red Navy, we also offer this style in Ecru Navy and our British & Irish Rugby Classic Sweatshirt Zipper Red or Navy.