1924 Tour Lions to South Africa

This tour was the first to be taken after the great war and was to South Africa the team was skippered by Ronald Cove-Smith and managed by Harry Packer from Wales. The tourists played 21 games and 17 of these were against club or provincial and also included were 4 test match’s, they lost the test series 0-3, with 1 draw.
The tour had one major claim to fame as it was the first occasion that the Lions nickname was used by their hosts. This came about as the full touring name was the British Isles Rugby Union Team and the tour tie included a heraldic Lion in the badge, this was picked up on and the tourists were called the Lions.

Ronald Cove-Smith
Ronald Cove-Smith

The four match test series was lost 3-7, 0-17 then 3-3 in the third test although a missed penalty in front of the posts in the final minutes of the game stopped a Lions win. The final test was lost 9-16. Coincidentally this was followed by a golden era of Rugby in South Africa during the 1930’s. The results from the other 17 games including 1 in Salisbury Rhodesia was won 9, drew 2 and lost 6. These results probably reflected the state of rugby in the British Isles at the time.