Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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From my travels I have collected many photos; had them sent to me or saved them, because, well, behind most of them there is a good story!
17 October 2016
In the 1950s and 60s when a South African rugby team left home for a major overseas tour they always carried with them a splendidly mounted Springbok trophy head. The trophy would be presented to the first team that beat the South Africans on any trip. Read more »
13 May 2016
Maybe 15 years ago, shortly after the great Zinzan Brooke retired from test rugby he did a series of rugby luncheons and dinners around New Zealand. They were sponsored by Ronald McDonald House and at them Zinny regailed the audiences in fine style with his many stories, yarns and rugby tour memories. One of his best memories was how he originally was named Zinzan Valentine Brooke by his family; then later he became known just by the shortened 'Zinzan Brooke' and later still when a great national presence grew in recognition of his enormous All Black talent he was known by young and old by gthe very friendly 'Zinny.' Read more »
4 January 2016
On this holiday, after leaving New Zealand, my dear wife kind of 'banned' any rugby activities taking place. I went along with her demands. I had to go I guess. This was to be a trip, she said, for us to do other stuff, like visiting friends and sightseeing. Perhaps even some shopping! But one day on the English part of the visit we found ourselves passing through the quiet Warwickshire town of Rugby. You know it, the little place where Willam Webb Ellis reputedly started the game by picking up the Rugby ball and running with it. According to the rules of our holiday I could not demand to visit any of the famous Rugby tourist sights there. Basically after a shot taken on the outer walls of Rugby School (well you can't miss it, it's right in the centre of town, and the picture I took there is also on this 'favourites' section.) we went looking for a cup of tea. Read more »
4 January 2016
What a haka classic this is! This one from the little-known but very significant New Zealand Maori team's world tour (with games mainly in France) back in 1926-27. Back then French rugby was very much in the doldrums. The national team hadn't won a game for years in the Five Nations Championship. But the 'Maori rugby' style of fast, open back play changed attitudes right across the south west proved very popular - and soon it was adopted to French way. Read more »
2 January 2016
Starting off 2016's favourite photo section with a cricket pic instead of rugby? Why not? It's my website! But read on with the slight rugby connection! Read more »
10 June 2015
A visit to the Carmarthen Athletic Club in west Wales is well worthwhile. I did it in 2015. The collection of jerseys and memorabilia is famous throughout the rugby world. The club's unique boot collection was started by the President Gwynne King Morgan back in the 1960s. He approached members of the 1967 All Blacks who, because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease were not allowed to take their boots home. Mr King swooped - and Colin Meads's pair - with an autographed card still attached - proudly still sits there. Read more »
The record 70-6 World Cup win over Italy was just five days earlier. Now John Gallagher and Craig Green each scored 4 tries in this new record 74-13 win over Fiji.
Mont-de-Marsan and France
63 internationals for France 1964–72
Benoit Dauga was a highly versatile forward who played for his country in three positions – lock, No. 8 and flanker. A lineout specialist, he was an expert leaper and dispatcher of the ball to his halfback. Some of the media called him the ‘control tower’ of French 1ineout play, and others the ‘Eiffel Tower’. He was also a strong runner and a highly competitive forward.
Dauga’s debut in international rugby was not auspicious. He had to wait until his fifth test before he was in a winning team (v Italy 1964). He maintained his place in French test teams until he reached 63 caps, which equalled the record set by Michel Crauste in 1966.
A big man, Dauga stood 1.94 metres tall (6 feet 41/2in) and weighed 110 kilograms (17 stone). His frame was such that he stretched rugby shirts to their limit and socks could not pass over his calf muscles! He also had what some might describe as a prominent nose. Colin Meads, his New Zaaland lineout rival, once light-heartedly said of Dauga, 'He's the only man I know who could smoke a cigarette while taking a shower!'
Dauga was highly regarded and played in most countries in the rugby world, including New Zealand and Australia in 1968, and South Africa in 1971. He was a French captain as well.
His rugby playing days ended in 1975 when he was injured in a club match for his beloved Mont-de-Marsan, suffering temporary paralysis of the arms and legs, and requiring a long spell in hospital before recovering his fitness and resuming his interest in the game.
Which club supplied seven players of the 1971 British and Irish Lions touring team to New Zealand - five of whom played all four tests?