The British & Irish Lions have sent a cap to Springbok star Jesse Kriel to honour his great grandfather John Hodgson
Hodgson, a loose-forward who represented club side Northern (Northumbria) made the long journey to the Antipodes 90 years ago to don the famous red jersey and take on the All Blacks and Australia.
“My great-grandfather toured Australia and New Zealand with the Lions in 1930. A flank, he played in two of the four Tests against the All Blacks, and in 15 of the 28 tour matches in total,” revealed Kriel.
“He also earned seven Test caps for England, including one against the Springboks at Twickenham in 1932.
“The Lions sent out these caps to players a while ago, but my great-grandfather’s cap hadn’t been claimed because he had passed away [in 1970 at the age of 61]. So a family member in the UK, who is involved in rugby, got in contact with the Lions and organised for it to be sent to South Africa.
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“It’s really special that he gets to be remembered like this. The 1930 Lions were on tour for more than four months, so the cap represents his sacrifice of leaving his family for a long time, going on a ship all the way there, representing the four countries involved in the Lions, and all his hard work and dedication.
“I know what my Springbok cap means to me, so I can imagine what it would have meant to him and I know how much it means to our whole family.”
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1. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
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