The Springbok descended from a Lion

The Springbok descended from a Lion

The rugby blood runs strong in the veins of Jesse Kriel. Today the Springbok centre tweeted about his great grandfather, John Hodgson, a British & Irish Lion.

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.

In all, Hodgson won 15 caps for the Lions and scored a total of 9 points as well.  

“I think it’s pretty special, really, knowing that he played for the Lions,” Kriel told the official Springbok website.

Hodgson was an England international from 1932 to 1936, playing against the Springboks once in London.

Hodgson’s Lions cap was sent to South Africa via post from England and received by Kriel’s grandfather’s sister, Diana. Kriel himself is currently in Japan where he represents the Canon Eagles.

“You can imagine how pleased she was – proud and a bit emotional when the package was delivered,” Kriel continued.

“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.”


Should Kriel feature in the Springbok side to take on the Lions in 2021, it would bring a beautiful element of symmetry to a tour which is slowly bubbling below the surface with the potential to be the greatest one yet.

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