Stander the ninth SA-born British and Irish Lion

Written by Hannes Nienaber

NewsG_CJStander School of Rugby | Stander the ninth SA-born British and Irish Lion - School of RugbyCJ Stander is the ninth South African born rugby player who will represent the British and Irish Lions. Stander was included in the British and Irish Lions touring squad that will tour through New Zealand later this year. Stander matriculated in 2008 at Oakdale Landbou just outside of Riversdal.

The other nine players who was born in South Africa and represented the British and Irish Lions are Cuth Mullins (1896), Stan Harris (1924), Brian Black (1930), Dyson Wilson (1955), Michael Catt (1997, 2001), Matt Stevens (2005, 2003), Ian Evans (2013) and Brad Barritt (2013).

Stander captained the South Western Districts to the title of unofficial champions of the Coca-Cola Craven Week of 2008 in Pretoria by beating Free State 31-25 in the main match. Stander also captained the South African Schools' side of that year and also went on to captein the SA u20-side in 2010. Stander made his debut for Ireland in 2016 and since represented his adopted country in 15 test matches. 

Springboks Pat Lambie (Michaelhouse), Francois Venter (Grey College), Siya Kolisi (Grey PE) and Elton Jantjes (Florida) was part of Stander's SA Schools team in 2008.  

RC "Cuth" Mullins was born in 1873 in the picteresque town of Grahamstown. Mullins completed his schooling career at St Andrew's College before studying medicine at Keble College in Oxford. He was also an Oxford Blue. 

His father RJ Mullins played a major role in introducing the game of rugby to the black community in Grahamstown. Cuth Mullins played in 13 of the British Lions' 21 matches during their 1896 tour of South Africa. This included the two test matches in Port Elizabeth and Kimberley. He returned to South Africa again in 1899 during the Anglo Boer War as a civil surgeon. He also served his adopted country during the First World War.  

Stanley Wakefield Harris was born in 1894 in Somerset East and died in 1973 in Kenilworth, South Africa. Stan represented the British Lions during their tour of South Africa in 1924. He was quite an interesting character.

Harris was an all-round sportman who represented England's rugby team in 1920. He turned down a place in Great Britian's modern pentathlon team for the Olympics of 1920 to play rugby for England. When he moved back to South Africa shortly after helping England secure a joint Five Nations championship in 1920 he represented Johannesburg club side Pirates as well as Transvaal (now Golden Lions). 

He became the South African ligh-heavyweight boxing champion in 1921 and got his call-up to the British Lions during their tour of 1924. He played in two of the test matches against the Springboks. He also received Springbok colours in tennis and boxing. 

He also fought in two wars. He was wounded during World War I and also fought in World War II. Harris also reached the finals of the World Ballroom dancing championship where he won the waltz section. 

Michael Catt represented England in 75 tests which includes the World Cup campaigns of 1995, 2003 and 2007. In 2007 at the age of 36 years and one month he became the oldest player to play in a World Cup final. He toured South Africa (1997) and Australia (2001) with the British Lions. Catt has only manage to bag one test cap during this two tours. 

Catt matriculated from Grey High School in Port Elizabeth and also represented Eastern Province at the prestigious Coca-Cola Craven Week. He also played for Eastern Province senior side before opting to further his career in England. Catt is currently serving on Italy's coaching staff. 

Matt Stevens and Brad Barritt are both old-boys of Kearsney College just outside of Durban. They played in a match together for the British and Irish Lions during their tour of Australia in 2013. Stevens is still the most capped player of Kearsney College first XV as he represented the team for four year.

Stevens captained his school side in 2000 and 2001. He played Craven Week for KwaZulu-Natal and also captained the South African Academy team. Barritt also represented KwaZulu-Natal at school level as well as the South African Schools' side.

Welsh lock Ian Evans was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and brought up in Aberdare, Wales. He played 33 tests for Wales and was part of the last British and Irish Lions touring team to Australia in 2013. He was schooled at Blaengwawr Comprehensive School in Aberaman.

Dyson Stayt "Tug" Wilson was born in Wilderness in the Western Cape and moved to England at the age of eight. Wilson toured South Africa with the British Lions in 1955. Lock Brian Black, who toured New Zealand with the British Lions in 1930 was born in Grahamstown. 


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