Colin McFadyean-British Lion 

Moseley three quarter Colin McFadyean was selected as one of Mike Campbell-Lamerton’s British Isles touring party which visited Australasia and Canada in 1966. McFadyean had made his England debut earlier in the year against Ireland and was one of eight schoolteachers originally selected for the tour.

He was not selected for the tour opener, in Perth, against Western Australia, which the tourists won by 60 points to three. The tourists then flew to Adelaide for a midweek match under floodlights with South Australia. McFadyean played in the centre for the British Isles in this game and scored one try and converted another in his side’s 38-11 victory, which was achieved with one injured player off the field for three quarters of the game and another being a virtual passenger due to a leg injury.

The next fixture was with Victoria, in Melbourne, for which McFadyean was once more selected. Another victory (24-14) was recorded by the tourists but McFadyean ‘had an unimpressive match, not watching the ball and putting far too many passes on the floor.’ He did manage to cross the Victorian goal line but was recalled for an earlier infringement.

McFadyean did not play in the victory over a New South Wales Country XV and the draw with New South Wales as the Lions continued their journey eastwards and because of injury he was not considered for selection for the First Test with Australia, which the British Isles won by 11 points to eight.

The Moseley centre made his reappearance in the following midweek match against Queensland, in Brisbane, scoring a try and helping set up another in the Lions 26-3 win but he was not selected for the team that won the Second Test against Australia by the record margin of 31 points to nil.

The Lions then flew to Christchurch for the New Zealand leg of the tour, which began in Invercargill, where their opponents were Southland. McFadyean was in the centre for this match, which the Lions lost 8-14, giving them a good idea of how hard this part of the tour was likely to be.

In an attempt to tighten up the midfield McFadyean was moved out to the wing for the midweek game against a Combined South Canterbury-North Otago-Mid Canterbury XV, in Timaru and the experiment proved successful as McFadyean scored two ‘splendid’ tries in a 20-12 victory.

Such was the management’s satisfaction with McFadyean on the wing that he was retained in that position for the next game against Otago, in Dunedin, which the tourists lost 9-17. McFadyean did, however, score a try for his side.

McFadyean was to have reappeared in the centre in the next match against New Zealand Universities, in Christchurch; however, during practice on the day before the game he ran into a goalpost and had to be withdrawn from the team, which won 24-11.

Following his mishap on the training field and restored to health Colin McFadyean was again selected on the wing for the British Isles’ next game, their first match in North Island, which was against Wellington. As on the three previous Saturdays the Lions were defeated, on this occasion, by 20 points to six.

Colin McFadyean moved back to the centre for the midweek match against Nelson, Marlborough and Golden Bay-Motueka, which followed the game with Wellington. The tourists won 22-14 although McFadyean did ‘his best to make a mess’ of a second try by Dewi Bebb.

It was back out to the wing for McFadyean in the 12-9 victory over Taranaki, at New Plymouth, during which he played an important part in the build up to the Lions winning try.

McFadyean was not involved in the drawn game with Bay of Plenty but was again selected on the wing for the tourists’ 6-3 victory over North Auckland in atrocious conditions in Whangerei.

His switch to the wing had succeeded to such a degree that he was chosen there for the First Test, against New Zealand, at Dunedin. The British Isles were well beaten by 20 points to three but Colin McFadyean did himself credit through his persistent efforts to stem the black tide.

Following the Test McFadyean was not selected for the victory over West Coast-Buller and then returned to the centre for the game with Canterbury, in Christchurch. During the match McFadyean made a good break but undid his good work by passing before drawing his opponent, which resulted in the chance being wasted.

In the same game McFadyean suffered more serious misfortune when he sustained a broken nose as a result of a stiff-arm tackle. The Lions won 8-6 thanks to a successful conversion four minutes from the final whistle.

This injury only prevented McFadyean from appearing in one game, the victory against Manawatu-Horowhenua, after which he returned to the centre position for the match with Auckland, which turned out to be a ‘squalid brawl’ that the tourists won by 12 points to six.

He then sat out the win over Wairarapa-Bush but was chosen as one of the centres for the Second Test, in Wellington. His switch back into his normal position was as a result of the loss of form of Welsh international D. Ken Jones, although The Times correspondent would have preferred ‘that honest all-round centre’ F.P. Bresnihan rather than McFadyean in Jones’s place. This Test was a lot closer than the first, the Lions only being defeated 12-16.

Having played in 11 of the 16 matches in New Zealand McFadyean was rested for the midweek meeting with Wanganui-King Country that followed the Test Match. However, in the event he was drafted in to fill a vacancy at centre in the side that lost the match by six points to 12. McFadyean was retained in the same position for the next match, against New Zealand Maoris, at Auckland, which the Lions won 16-14.

He took no part in the narrow victory over Poverty Bay-East Coast but resumed his place in the centres against Hawkes Bay. Unlike in the Canterbury match McFadyean, on this occasion, got his timing just right enabling Dewi Bebb to score one of the tries of the tour, in an eleven-all draw.

This form was not carried over into the Third Test, in Christchurch, where McFadyean, along with a number of his tem mates, passed poorly and ‘threw away’ the match enabling the home side to win by 19 points to six.

McFadyean’s busy tour then continued as he took part in wins over New Zealand Juniors (9-3) and Waikato (20-9), playing centre on both occasions and in the latter match having a hand in the build up to one of the tries.

Moseley’s Lion was not selected for the penultimate game in New Zealand, against Thames Valley-Counties, before taking his place, at centre, for the Fourth Test, in Auckland. Once more the tourists were defeated (11-24) but during the match Colin McFadyean showed ‘flashes of virtuosity’ and scored one of his side’s tries.

The British Isles side then returned home via Canada, where McFadyean played in the 3-8 defeat at the hands of British Columbia and in the 19-8 victory over Canada, in Toronto.