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The 1888 tour of Australia and New Zealand was the first of its kind by a team made up of the home unions and had a significant impact on the establishment and expansion of the game in the then Colonies.

The 20-strong group were managed by three leading England cricketers and promoters, Alfred Shaw, Arthur Shrewsbury and James Lillywhite, and led by Robert Sneddon, an English forward.

They departed Britain on 8 March, 1888 and returned home eight months later, on 11 November, having played 53 matches of which 35 were rugby football and 18 Victorian football (Australian Rules). They won 27 of their games, with six draws and only two defeats, though no test match as such was played.

During their stay in Queensland, Seddon tragically died in a boating accident on River Hunter at West Maitland and Andrew Stoddart took over the captaincy.

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