Guys Hospital Rugby Football Club British Lions
Guys Hospital RFC is, as everyone in Rugby knows, the oldest rugby club in the world. The Club boasts some 31 international players whose names are listed on the honours boards at Honor Oak Park. Less well known, however, is the fact that the Club have contributed players to the British Lions on four separate Lions tours around the beginning of the 20th century. Although the official Lions name was not adopted until 1910, a total of six combined British and Irish teams had toured since 1888.
Nine players from Guys Hospital RFC have been selected for the Lions. They have a total of 27 test caps between them and played 153 matches on four tours for the Lions in 1889, 1903, 1904 and 1908. No other hospital, except Barts, is recorded as having any Lions players and the Barts player did not play a single match for the Lions. Well known medic JPR Williams who qualified at St Mary's was with London Welsh when selected for the 1971 British Lions tour of New Zealand.
On the 1904 tour to New Zealand, the Lions capped two Kiwis, Pat McEvedy and Arthur O'Brien who were both studying Medicine at Guys. O'Brien doubled as tour manager. McEvedy also went on the 1908 tour and in 1934 became President of the NZRFU. Two other Guys players were selected, making four from the same club. Three players were selected for the 1908 tour and all played in the test matches.
SA = South Africa. Aus = Australia. NZ= New Zealand
Much of the detail has been extracted from The Lions official tour guide, 2005, some from the website www.lionsrugby.com and some from the Guy's Gazette
Past President Guys Hospital RFC