To mark Black History Month, this week’s podcast looks at the pioneering life and times of Lucius Banks, the first Amercian to play professional rugby and the first black athlete to play professional rugby league. This is a remarkable life story of an African-American man born two decades after the end of slavery, travelled across the Atlantic to play a sport he had never seen, and returned home to struggle against racism for the rest of his life – a pioneer on and off the pitch. For more on the history of rugby and the other football codes, follow me on Twitter @collinstony and take a look at

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