1910 British Combined
tour to Argentina
Combined British Rugby Team, Argentina 1910.png
The 1910 British Isles team
Date26 May – 17 June
Coach(es)R.V. Stanley
Tour captain(s)England John Raphael
Test series winnersBritish and Irish Lions (1–0)
Top test point scorer(s)England Harold Monks (10)
1910 British Lions tour to Argentina
06 06 00 00
Test match
01 01 00 00
1 1 0 0

The 1910 British Lions tour to Argentina was a rugby tour of Argentina made by a side made up of 16 English players and 3 Scots. The organisers of the tour named the team the "English Rugby Union team",[1] but the host country advertised the touring team as the British Combined ("Combinado Británico" in Spanish).[2] The 1910 team has been termed as one of the three "lost lions" tours,[3] and is detailed on the British and Irish Lions official website. For Argentina, this tour marked the start of international rugby union and the test against the Combined British on 12 June 1910 was the first test in the Argentine national team's history.[4]


The first Argentina national team ever before playing the British Lions at Sociedad Sportiva Argentina, 12 June 1910
The first Argentina national team ever before playing the British Lions at Sociedad Sportiva Argentina, 12 June 1910

In 1910, a British side toured South Africa for the fourth time, being the eighth outing of a British touring side at this point. The South African tour was, however, the first official tour, in that it had the official sanction of the four home unions. Concurrently, RV Stanley, more famously known as Major Stanley of Oxford, later an England selector, organised a side to tour Argentina. John Raphael, the England fullback, was selected as the captain of this team, branded by Stanley as the England Rugby Union team. The hosts referred to the team as the Combined British, perhaps more appropriate given the squad included three Scots.

The tour was also part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the May Revolution. The people of Argentina termed it the "Combined British", also known as "Great Britain XV". Argentina made its international debut against this team under the name "The River Plate Rugby Football Union" on 12 June. The match was played at Sociedad Sportiva Argentina of Palermo and Argentina lost 28–3. The only try for the Argentine squad (the first international try) was scored by Buenos Aires F.C. player Frank Heriot.[note 1] .[2] Argentina's most notable players were captain Oswald St. John Gebbie and Barry Heatlie, a South African who played for the Springboks.[6]

The Combined British played six matches, winning them all, including a victory over Argentina in their first ever test on 12 June 1910.[4]


Of those representing the Combined British, only four had played international rugby previously. They were:

Other members of the team were:

Match summary

Complete list of matches played by the British Isles in Argentina:[7][8]

  Test matches

The English side (in white jersey) playing Argentina at Sociedad Sportiva on 12 June. It was the international debut of an Argentine rugby team
The English side (in white jersey) playing Argentina at Sociedad Sportiva on 12 June. It was the international debut of an Argentine rugby team
Match Date Rival City Venue Score
1 26 May Olímpicos A [note 2] Buenos Aires n/i 19–13
2 29 May Belgrano A.C. Buenos Aires n/i 58–0
3 2 Jun Olímpicos B [note 2] Buenos Aires n/i 39–5
4 6 Jun Buenos Aires F.C. Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Cricket 28–0
5 12 Jun  Argentina [note 3] Buenos Aires Sociedad Sportiva 28–3
6 17 Jun Argentinos Nativos [note 4] Buenos Aires n/i 41–10
Pl W D L Ps Pc
6 6 0 0 211 31

Test details

June 12, 1910
Argentina 3–28United Kingdom British Isles
Try: MacCarthy
Sociedad Sportiva Argentina
British Isles

Argentina: : J.E. Saffery, Cornelius MacCarthy, Oswald Gebbie, M. Heriot, Henry Talbot, W.A. Watson, Carlos Mold, Barry Heatlie, L.H. Gribbell, W.H. Hayman, F. Henrys, A. Bovet, A. Donelly, Alvan Reid


  1. ^ Some sources cited C. McCarthy (player of Lomas A.C.) as the author of the first try instead Heriot.[5]
  2. ^ a b Combined teams.[9]
  3. ^ The first international game played by Argentina, under the name "The River Plate Rugby Football Union"[10]
  4. ^ At those times, most of rugby players in Argentina were of British origin. The most important match of each year was the played between "Nativos" (formed by Argentine born players) and "Británicos" (then "Extranjeros") (Foreigner).[9] This tradition was abandoned in the 50s.


  1. ^ 1910: Argentina Archived 10 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine by David Walmsley – Genesis Publications – May 15, 2013 on British Lions website
  2. ^ a b "El centenario del debut", Clarín, 13 June 2010
  3. ^ David Walmsley (Author), Robby Elson (Editor), The Lions: The Complete History of the British and Irish Rugby Union Team, Genesis Publications (2005) ISBN 0-904351-96-3
  4. ^ a b Dobson, Paul (2 December 2004). "Argentina and the 'Lions' in the past". Planet Rugby. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Lions": Los viajes olvidados by Ricardo Sabanes, 16 May 2017
  6. ^ "De festejo también, pero por el Centenario" by Jorge Búsico, La Nación, 27 May 2010
  7. ^ British & Irish Lions results on Rugby Football History
  8. ^ Early Lions: Squads and results (1888–1938) on BBC Sport, 18 May 2005
  9. ^ a b Los Lions en Argentina by Frankie Deges on Mundial XV website, 21 Jan 2013
  10. ^ 1903-1910 – SUCCESSES UP TO WWI on British Lions website