#Springbok Experience
July 18, 2013
This oil on canvas painting, 124 x 74 cm, by an unknown artist and painted in 1907, is in the collection of the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham.

At the beginning of the 20th century, when the artist created the likeness, certainly no rugby was played by girls and the girl depicted her is unlikely to have been an official mascot.

With a by now indecipherable signature, this crumpled work had its flaking paint restored by a leading expert and was stretched and reframed for display in the Museum in 1999.

It came to light in a house clearance in Wales and research proved that our little Springbok was, in fact, a Welsh girl named Kathleen Trick.

Her father, a member of the London Welsh RFC, had been invited to a costume ball in 1907 given by the Lord Mayor of London in honour of the first touring South-African side.

Six-year-old Kathleen skipped off to the party dressed in full Springbok regalia - donated by the team themselves.

(Sources: World Rugby Museum & NZ Museums)

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