British & Irish Lions

Bok centre reveals his great-grandfather was a British Lion

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Jesse Kriel (Getty)
Jesse Kriel (Getty)

Playing against the British & Irish Lions next year will be extra special for Springbok centre Jesse Kriel.

The midfielder has revealed that his great-grandfather John Hodgson played for the Lions against the All Blacks and Wallabies 90 years ago.

Hodgson, a loose forward who played his English club rugby for Northumbrian side Northern, featured in the 6-3 victory over New Zealand in Dunedin and the 15-10 loss to the All Blacks in Auckland in 1930.

In total, the Gosforth-born flanker made 15 appearances for the British & Irish Lions, scoring nine points. He also represented England between 1932 and 1936, earning seven caps, including being part of the England team who played against the 1932 Springboks in London on 2 January 1932.

"I think it's pretty special, really, knowing that he played for the Lions," Kriel told the Springboks' official website.

Kriel added that relatives in England initially wanted to present Hodgson's Lions cap to his grandfather David's sister Diana, but because of the international travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided to rather send it via post to South Africa, where it safely arrived a few days ago.

"You can imagine how pleased she was - proud and a bit emotional when the package was delivered," Kriel said from Tokyo where he plies his trade for the Canon Eagles.

"It made for some nice discussions on the family's group chat on WhatsApp. I just thought it would be nice to share the moment on Twitter, especially with the Lions' tour South Africa on the horizon."

John McDonald Hodgson was born on 13 February 1909 in Gosforth, England and passed away on 21 April 1970.

Full 2021 British & Irish Lions tour schedule:

- Saturday 26 June: British & Irish Lions v Japan - Murrayfield, Edinburgh
- Saturday 3 July: British & Irish Lions v Stormers - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
- Wednesday 7 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa 'Invitational' - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
- Saturday 10 July: British & Irish Lions v Sharks - Kings Park, Durban
- Wednesday 14 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa 'A' Team - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
- Saturday 17 July: British & Irish Lions v Bulls - Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
- Saturday 24 July (first Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
- Saturday 31 July (second Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
- Saturday 7 August (third Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Ellis Park, Johannesburg

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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