Once Were Lions – 16 May 2021 – 16/5/2021 – Sunday – BBC
After over a decade in the wilderness, rugby league’s Lions are back and on the road again. This documentary follows their 2019 tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea as they fight for their sporting future.
From rugby league’s northern England heartlands to the exotic surroundings of Papua New Guinea, the tour provides a lens to examine the soul of a game with a proud past but uncertain fate, as well as issues such as masculinity in 21st-century Britain, class, friendship, ambition, loyalty and sacrifice.
Through unseen archive, interviews and privileged actuality, the film highlights the most compelling aspects of rugby league’s rise, and explores how and why it has come to be synonymous with a way of life, all within the band-of-brothers framework of the reformed Lions’ exploits down under.
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