Visits that took place prior to the 1910 South Africa tour (the first selected by a committee from the four Home Unions) had enjoyed a growing degree of support from the authorities, although only one of these included representatives of all four nations.
The 1910 tour to South Africa marked the official beginning of British and Irish rugby tours: the inaugural tour operating under all four unions.
The team performed moderately against the non-test parties, claiming victories in just over half their matches.
The test series, however, went to South Africa, who won two of the three games.
A side managed by Oxford University — supposedly the England rugby team but actually including three Scottish players — toured Argentina at the time: the people of Argentina termed it the "Combined British".
A wait of fourteen years would ensue until another British Isles team tour took place, again in South Africa. The team struggled with injuries and lost all four tests (a game against the Western Province had test status).
This tour may have marked the occasion when the team first became known as "the Lions".
In 1927 a short nine-game series took place in Argentina, with the Lions winning all nine encounters; the tour did however become a financial success for Argentinian rugby.
After a seemingly long absence from New Zealand, the Lions returned in 1930 to some success.
The Lions won all of their games that did not have test status except for the matches against Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury; they did however lose all of their test matches against the All Blacks.
The side also visited Australia, losing a test but winning five out of the six non-test games.
In 1936 the Lions visited Argentina, winning all ten of their matches and only conceding nine points in the whole tour.
Two years later the Lions toured in South Africa, winning more than half of their normal matches.
Despite having lost the test series to South Africa by game three, the Lions won the final test.
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