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Getting that coveted Lions Test shirt

John GriffithsSeptember 25, 2013
Ken Jones goes over for the 1950 Lions, a tour where just two players failed to run out in the Tests © Getty Images
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What is the highest number of Lions tourists used in Tests during a tour - and what is the fewest not used? R Young, England

Sir Clive Woodward called on 39 of his 2005 tourists to play in the Test against Argentina and the three-match series in New Zealand. At full strength his party numbered 44.

On the 2009 tour there were 30 players used in the three-Test series against South Africa (from a full-strength squad of 37) and the same number (from a complement of 38) were employed in Australia earlier this year.

The fewest (of a full-strength squad of 30) unused in a Test series was two - back in 1950. Two of the flankers, Vic Roberts of England and Ireland's Jimmy McCarthy, were the unlucky tourists that year sitting out the two Tests in Australia and the four-match rubber with the All Blacks. Roberts was the only England forward on that tour. He and McCarthy were deemed too small for the Test packs.

George Norton, one of the original tourists in 1950, broke his arm playing against Southland just before the Test series began but his replacement, Lewis Jones from Wales, appeared in the last three Tests of the tour.

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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