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!
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 »
Two All Black tests on the same day? Correct!
In Wellington NZ's a second team loses 11-6 to the Wallabies. 12 hours later in Durban the 'A' NZ team loses 9-3 to SA. A unique but disasterous day for NZ rugby!
Cardiff, Llanelli and Wales
24 internationals for Wales 1901–08
At the age of 12, in 1893, Rhys Gabe walked from his home near Llanelli to watch Wales play Ireland at Stradey Park, a distance of five miles. He and his friends played with a rugby ball all the way there and back, and the game had a profound influence on young Gabe. Thereafter he only wanted to be a centre and based his play on his hero who had played that day, Sam Lee of Ireland.
Gabe made his debut for Wales in 1901 against Ireland at Swansea in a match that marked the last appearance of the great Billy Bancroft for Wales.
Gabe, as a centre capable of beating his opposites with deception and speed, was a brilliant player in the Welsh teams which won the Triple Crown in 1902, 1905 and 1908, and which enjoyed a period of success called Wales’s first ‘golden era’. He also toured New Zealand with the Great Britain team of 1904.
It was Rhys Gabe who made the run that led to Teddy Morgan’s try which enabled Wales to beat the 1905 All Blacks. He also took part in the famous ‘foggy’ game of 1908 when Wales beat England by 28–18. Gabe scored twice that day – one of the tries was not seen by the England defence because of the murky weather.
There is another story that Gabe was kicked so hard in the backside in the Wales v Scotland game in 1905 that he could not sit down for six months! Being a schoolmaster it meant he had to conduct his lessons standing on his feet. However, the records also actually show that he was fit enough to play in Wales’s next match just three weeks later!
Dr Danie Craven is often called 'The Father of South African Rugby' - what was he a doctor of?