Rugby League Ashes Series. No Lions tour has been the subject of such intense drama. And intrigue as the 1958 adventure. It saw Great Britain retain the Ashes in the most sensational style. Yet find themselves battling against a split in their camp which became the subject of a Rugby League Council inquest on their return to the UK.

On the field. The Lions were captained by St Helens prop Alan Prescott. Also, Barrow Centre Phil Jackson was his Vice-Captain. Both were making their second Lions tour after being members of the 1954 side. Also playing Australia in the 1957 Rugby League World Cup. It quickly became apparent once Prescott’s 1958 team got to Australia. That there were problems behind the scenes between the managers. These were Bennett Manson and Tom Mitchell. Also, that Coach Jim Brough was not popular with the players.

Rugby League Ashes Series 1958 heroic Captain Alan Prescott

The off-field unrest gathered momentum after a poor first Test display. This saw Great Britain well beaten in Sydney. It meant it was vital that they win the second Test to keep the series alive. And save the tour. That second Test in Brisbane unfolded as a dramatic battle. Against the odds to rival the famous “Rorke’s Drift” match of 1914 and win its place in the folklore of Rugby League’s history. With captain Alan Prescott heroically staying on the field with a broken arm. As injuries reduced his side to only eight fit men. Great Britain played brilliant football to win 25-18. And square the series in a match forever remembered as “Prescott’s Epic”.
In the deciding third Test back in Sydney. Phil Jackson captained the Lions to the Ashes with a record-breaking 40-17 thrashing of the Aussies. After their defeat in the first Test. The 1958 British side went on to set new records of success with a remarkable unbeaten run. This saw the first Test in New Zealand the only game lost in the remaining 22 fixtures on tour.

Rugby League Ashes Series 1958 the inspiration behind the designs

This outstanding tour and the Rugby League legends inspired the design for the Ellis Rugby 1958 Great Britain Rugby League range. The original crest features on the chest of the garment. Alongside stylish gold embroidery including the results of the series. In addition, we’ve added a microchip under the decorative seam woven label. When scanned by a mobile phone it links with a video showing original footage and the story behind the shirt.

New Stars Alex Murphy, Mick Sullivan, Dick Huddart, Vince Karalius

Sensational new stars emerged on the tour. Players like Alex Murphy, the youngest Lions tourist as 18. Also, Dick Huddart, who made a record 24 appearances on the tour. And scored 17 tries. In addition, Mick Sullivan was the top try scorer with a new record of 38. And Eric Fraser became only the third Lion to kick a century off goals on tour with his total of 110. Winger Ike Southward scored 165 points from 25 tries and 45 goals. Leigh’s Mick Martyn scored 23 tries, a new tour record for a forward. And Vince Karalius became forever known as “Wild Bull of Pampas”.