G.V. Evers and the 1899 British Tour 

In 1899 a British side was selected for a tour to Australia. As with the 1896 tour to South Africa the side was not fully representative of the four Home Countries and was largely composed of emerging representative players. The party did, however, for the first time include internationals from all four nations but despite this fact Australian journalists still referred to the touring party as ‘the English Football team.’

The party was managed and captained by Rev. Matthew Mullineux, who made a number of appearances for Moseley during 1898/99, while among the forwards was Moseley’s G.V. Evers. Mullineux was the only captain of a British Isles side who never played in an international for one of the Home Nations nor did he ever appear in an England trial match and nor did he win a Blue while at Cambridge University. During early correspondence between the manager and the Australians it was thought that Moseley and England full back J.F. Byrne may have been one of the party, however, he declined the invitation and later in the year went to South Africa where he was married while besieged in Kimberley during the Second Boer War.

Following defeat in the First Test a number of changes were made by the tourists for the second international which was played at Bowen Park Exhibition Ground, Brisbane, on 22nd July 1899. One of these changes was the inclusion of Evers in the British side’s pack. Among the Australian forwards opposing Evers was R.L. Challoner, of New South Wales, who before emigrating to Australia had played for both Moseley and the Midland Counties. The alterations to the touring team had the desired effect because Australia were defeated by 11 points to nil.

Evers retained his place for the Third Test, which took place, on 5th August, at Sydney Cricket Ground. The game was played on a slippery and muddy pitch and as a consequence was largely dominated by the forwards. Britain again scored 11 points but this time Australia were only defeated by a single point.

The Fourth and final Test was played at the same venue a week later and once again Evers was one of the British forwards. As on the previous Saturday the conditions in Sydney were wet and the match resulted in a 13-0 triumph for the tourists whose final record was played 21, won 18, lost three, points for 333 and points against 90.

Interestingly, although Evers appeared in three Test matches for this British side, like his captain and manager, he was never selected for an England international match.