Great Britain Legends: Les Dyl


Going into game two of Great Britain’s test series against New Zealand this Saturday, we are celebrating four more past players who have shone in the white, blue and red.

It’s been 41 years since the Lions beat Australia 18-14 at Bradford’s Odsal Stadium in the second Ashes test of 1978. It was the first time GB had beaten the Kangaroos since 1974 and one Leeds player that was involved was centre Les Dyl.

Dyl made his Great Britain debut in 1974, helping the national side to a 16-11 victory over Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. After missing the first test, the centre made up for lost time, scoring a week later as the the visitors lost the series decider in Sydney.

There was no rest for the Lions though as they continued their tour in New Zealand. Losing the first game 13-8 in Auckland, Dyl and GB turned their form around; the centre scoring in both the second and third tests to clinch the series. The 20-0 win in the third match would also be the first time Great Britain would nill the Kiwis.

Dyl made 427 appearances and scored 604 points during his time at Leeds. Overall he made 11 Great Britain appearances between 1974 and 1982.

When Great Britain was reformed in 1977, centre Dyl was the first choice centre for all four World Championship matches, starting with a try against France at the start of June. He went on to play in the 30-12 win over New Zealand and 19-5 loss to Australia, prior to the two sides facing off again in the final which the Kangaroos won by a point.

Dyl only played once in the 1978 Ashes series against Australia on home soil. Starting alongside wing partner John Atkinson, both players helped Great Britain to a 18-14 win; the national side’s first over the Kangaroos for four years. He wouldn’t run out at his home ground though, missing out on selection for the final match at Headingley, which the visitors won 23-6.

Despite winning the 1979 Premiership Final, Dyl sustained an injury, ruling him out of that year’s Australasian tour. He pulled the shirt on for one last time in 1982 for the first test against Australia at Boothferry Park; a 40-4 defeat to the Green and Golds ending his time in the Great Britain jersey.