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A cricket and rugby double over Australia
John Griffiths
August 9, 1900
Roy McLean in action during South Africa's 1960 tour of England © Scrum.com

Who was the South African who scored winning cricket runs and rugby points against Australia in the same year? asked D Smith

Roy McLean of Natal performed this unusual feat in 1953.

In the final Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in February 1953 he contributed a swashbuckling 76 not out to a match-winning stand of 106 with Headley Keith that enabled South Africa to share their series with Australia 2-all.

Then, in June, in the opening rugby match of the tour of South Africa made by John Solomon's Wallabies he dropped the winning goal to provide Natal with a 15-14 victory.

He never played in a rugby Test for the Springboks, giving up the game soon after his annus mirabilis in order to concentrate on his cricket career.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, including The Book of English International Rugby, The Book of International Rugby Records, British Lions, The Five Nations Championship, Rugby's Strangest Matches and Rugby's Greatest Characters. He was a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph for 19 years and is co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has also provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.


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