Members of the British Isles Rugby Union team, who arrived in Melbourne on 19th May, were welcomed by the Lord mayor of Melbourne, Councillor Thomas at the Town Hall.
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Background: Members of the British Isles Rugby Union team, who arrived in Melbourne on 19th May, were welcomed by the Lord mayor of Melbourne, Councillor Thomas at the Town Hall. They were introduced to the Lord Mayor by Mr. Ramsden, the President of the Victorian Rugby Union. First was team captain Ron Dawson, who comes from Ireland. There are thirty members in the party-nine Irishmen, nine Welshem, five Englishmen and seven Scots. The team -- which is known as the British Lions, will play its first Australian match next Saturday, 23rd May, at Melbourne's Olympic Park. Opposing it will be a Victorian Team.
The visiting British Isles Rugby Union team held its first full scale practice in Australia on 20th May in preparation for a match on 23rd May against Victoria at Olympic Park, The thirty men team, which is known as the "Lions" will play matches in melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Team worth before beginning a strenuous tour of New Zealand. At the St. Kilda Ground today they were still a little sluggish after their long flight from Britain, but soon showed form in rigorous training session.
After getting the feel of the turf underfoot, the players gather round their Irish captain, twenty six year old Ron Dawson, for training instructions, watched by team manager, Mr. Alfred Wilson, of Scotland. First, a few loosening up exercises to warm up. English Back Walter Riesman and lofty Half Back Stan Coughtrie of Scotland stage a passing rush while the Forwards - one and a half tons of them - pack down for a scrum. Heaviest Forward is Welshman Rhys Williams, who tips the scales at sixteen stone four. The Backs include two players capable of less than ten seconds for one hundred yards. Rugby Union has a growing following in Victoria, about seven hundred registered players, and thirty six teams competing each Saturday, including five Melbourne Secondary School teams.