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Published

June 2013

Format

Paperback

Pages

304

ISBN

9780987500274

Size

234 x 153 x 25 mm

Weight

526 g

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To request a press release, review copy, author image or to organise an extract or interview please contact Marlo Mecuri

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The First Lions of Rugby

On the eve of the British & Irish Lions Australian tour in June 2013, renowned rugby writer Sean Fagan brings to life the dramatic story of The First Lions of Rugby—22 young footballers who embarked on a high-risk, non-sanctioned tour of Australia in 1888. A haunting tale of tragedy and triumph, The First Lions of Rugby tells the story of the remarkable team which changed rugby forever.

Across 54 matches, the young Lions battled it out against the best rugby teams Australia and New Zealand had to offer. Then, in a forgotten chapter of sports history, they turned their prodigious football talent to Australian Rules, taking on the top clubs of Melbourne and Adelaide, and stepping into the middle of a ‘code war’ for national ascendancy.

However, the tour was marred by tragedy when a boat accident claimed the life of the team’s captain, Bob Seddon. Despite their grief, the team rallied to continue the tour, encouraged by messages of support from across Australia.

Having departed England in controversial circumstances, the Lions returned home bathed in glory as trailblazers and visionaries. A stoic lot, the team had overcome adversity to set down the foundations for a wonderful tradition—the rare but special event of a British & Irish Lions tour.

On the 125-year anniversary of that inaugural tour, The First Lions of Rugby describes in great detail and perspective one of the most enthralling events in sports history.

Author

Sean Fagan

Sean Fagan is a renowned sports historian who has written for daily newspapers, websites and sports magazines, including Inside Sport. He has appeared in television documentaries including A Century of Rugby League. A highly regarded writer on the history of rugby league and rugby’s first century, Sean Fagan is the author of The Rugby Rebellion: The Divide of League and Union and The Master: The Life and Times of Dally Messenger.

Media

ABC Grandstand

Listen to Sean being interviewed on ABC Grandstand

Forty-20

Read a review of The First Lions of Rugby that appeared in Forty-20

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Australian Football

Read an extract from The First Lions of Rugby that appeared on Australian Football.

Fox Sports News

Watch Sean Fagan being interviewed on Fox Sports News

The Sydney Morning Herald

Read a story from The Sydney Morning Herald about Robert Seddon which Sean Fagan assisted with.

The Daily Telegraph

Read a review from The Daily Telegraph about Sean Fagan and The First Lions of Rugby

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4BC Sports Today

Listen to a Sean Fagan being interviewed about The First Lions of Rugby on Sports Today

AFL Record

The First Lions of Rugby book by Sean Fagan & the story of the 1888 tour featured in the AFL Record

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The Guardian

The First Lions of Rugby book by Sean Fagan & the story of the 1888 tour featured in British newspaper, The Guardian.

ABC News 24

Watch an interview about The First Lions of Rugby that appeared on News Breakfast

The Australian

Read a story about The First Lions of Rugby in The Australian

The Herald Sun

Read a story that appeared in the Herald Sun and online at news.com.au

The Roar

Read a story that appeared on The Roar.

ESPN Scrum

Read a story on The First Lions of Rugby on ESPN Scrum.

The Sun Herald and The Sunday Age

Read a story that appeared in the The Sun Herald and The Sunday Age.

The Queensland Times

Read a story that appeared in The Queensland Times.

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