Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
You are here: Home » Favourite Photos
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!
28 February 2015
I love this old picture. There is so much about it that has come down the years. And on a personal level when I saw it as a kid I was first drawn to it by seeing our 'family name' on the advertising hoarding in the background. Read more »
19 February 2015
Here I am interviewing the great 1950s and 60s All Black Peter 'Tiger' Jones in Whangarei (in about 1985). I had met him earlier - before I was granted the right to wear the deplorable 'One World of Sport' blazer you see here! Read more »
11 February 2015
This is a photograph taken at one of rugby's rarest events. It was a 'secret' test match played at Owl Creek Polo Field in Glenville, New York in September 1981. Read more »
25 January 2015
The 1970 tour of South Africa by the All Blacks should have been a great experience for the All Black captain Brian Lochore. For tough reasons it did not turn out that way. Read more »
12 January 2015
I've always loved this great picture of Eric Tindill of Wellington, the 'Double All Black.' Such men were called that in New Zealand sporting circles. They were a rare group of men who played for New Zealand at both test rugby and cricket. There have only been a very few of them. This picture from 'Crown Studios' in Wellington was a great attempt to capture his double sporting talent. But Eric's record in International sport went even further than playing it. Read more »
4 January 2015
I know this is technically not a 'favourite photo' - but I love it all the same. I can't resist putting this programme cover up on site from my home collection. I do it under the heading of 'will we ever see games like this EVER again in modern rugby?" (ie; a real 'minnow' rugby union against a rugby 'powerhouse.') This classic was from the 1968 All Blacks tour of Australia. It was the second game of a 12 match tour and New Zealand won 74-0. Read more »
Australia played a superb game in the RWCup semi-final to beat Gary Whetton's NZ team by 16-6 in Dublin.
OLYMPIC GAMES RUGBY
The advent of the Rugby World Cup in 1987 seemed to silence the calls which had surfaced from time to time for the return of rugby union for the fifth time to the programme at the modern Olympic Games.
Three countries took part in the rugby competition at the Paris Games in 1900, France beating Germany, 27–17, in one match and Britain, 27–8, in the other. Most of the British team came from the Moseley club. Its loss to France may seem a surprising result, given the modest standard of French rugby at that time, but the British players had spent 24 hours traveling from London before match day and were reportedly exhausted. France was awarded the gold medal, Germany the silver and Great Britain the bronze.
At the fourth Olympic Games in 1908 in London, only two nations took part: Australia, which was touring Britain at the time, and Britain itself. The English county champion side of that season, Cornwall, was chosen to represent Britain. Australia won 32–3 at White City Stadium in London.
At Antwerp in 1920, at the first Games after World War I, the underdogs, the United States, won the gold medal, beating France in the final by 8–0. The French team had been the favourite to win, as five of the team had recently appeared in the Five Nations championship.
In both 1908 and 1920 only two teams had entered the games, but in 1924 in Paris a proper, if small, tournament took place. Most publications claim that France beat Romania 61–3 (although the French records say 59–3). The United States also beat Romania, by 37–0. In the final the United States met France.
The game was a classic, which the Americans won, 17–3. More than 30,000 French spectators watched in alarm as their team suffered such a humiliation at the hands of the Americans (many of whom had never played rugby before). As the end grew nearer and the result was inevitable, the Americans were jeered by the crowd and one visiting supporter was knocked out after being hit in the face with a walking stick. At the medal ceremony, the playing of the United States’ national anthem was drowned out by the booing and cat-calling of the crowd. Police protection was needed for the departure of the American team from the Stade Colombes.
Before the 1928 Games there was a vote by members of the International Olympic Committee over whether rugby should be included at Amsterdam. IOC members were inclined towards individual events rather than team sports, and there was also a demand for a greater opportunity for women to take part. There was a theory, too, that the British rugby-playing countries did not strongly endorse the sport’s continuation at the Games. One of rugby's greatest supporters on the IOC, Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France, had retired in 1925.
The vote was lost, and rugby never regained an official place at the Olympics. In the 1936 Summer Olympic games in Berlin, the so-called 'Hitler Games' rugby was included again, but as a 'Demonstration' sport. Four countries took part; Germany, Italy, France and Romania. France beat Romania 19-14 in the final.
In the years ahead a number of countries expressed support for the 15-aside version of rugby to return to the Olympic programme. There were especially strong attempts in 1980 (endorsed by the Soviet Union) and in 1988 (endorsed by South Korea) to have rugby re-admitted to the Games programme. Both attempts failed.
A significant moment for rugby next came in 1994 when the IRB was endorsed into the Olympic movement as a full sporting member.
In 2002 the International Rugby Board, encouraged perhaps by the presence of an ex-Belgian rugby international, Jacques Rogge, as the new IOC President, rugby tried again but this time with the idea of sevens rugby being included for the Beijing Summer Games of 2008.
This again failed, it was said that one factor being that women's teams were not included in the IRB planning. By 2009 with a World Cup for women having been (hurredly) put in place the passage for sevens to be included in the Rio de Janeiro Games of 2016 was made easier.
This happened in October 2009 in Copenhagen when the full IOC Congress endorsed the sevens version for both men and women. In fact the first appearance of sevens rugby will be at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August, 2014.
[Additional note; There is one player in Olympic rugby history who deserves special mention. He is Daniel Carroll, the speedy wing from Sydney, Australia, who was a gold medalist with the Australian team at London in 1908, and later settled in America. He played for the United States in the Olympics of 1920 and won a rugby gold medal for that country, becoming the first and only player to win two Olympic rugby gold medals. He was also coach of the 1924 United States team.]
In the Rugby World Cups 1987-2011 which final drew the biggest crowd?