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!
9 June 2014
The 1965 South African fullback Lionel Wilson sent this picture to KeithQuiinnRugby.com some years ago. It is from his private collection of memorabilia and shows how he looked after being involved in a fearful collision during the South Africa v Canterbury game. He recovered from the black eye and played a test match a week later! Wilson came to New Zealand to live permanently in the years after the tour. Read more »
8 June 2014
The mighty Colin Meads of King Country New Zealand, who was the symbol of everything that was tough about rugby in the 1960s and '70s. Here he is with his upper body covered in plaster playing with his young son. Weeks earlier near his farm Meads had suffered a broken back after a motor vehicle crash. A matter of months later he had recovered sufficiently to play full international games again, though his All Black days were over. Read more »
3 June 2014
Some people journey to Jerusalem or Mecca or other Holy places. Here is Keith Quinn at his personal 'place of pilgrimage'; at the grave of William Webb Ellis at Menton, Southern France. It serene place where one can reflect whether the man buried there really did start the game of rugby in 1823. Read more »
1 June 2014
In the 1950s when the big test matches were played it was common for air planes to fly over the grounds dragging advertising slogans. This gave the opportunity for wonderful photographs to be taken. This one was taken in 1959 when officially it was 57,000 people attended the All Blacks v British Lions in Christchurch. Note the packed crowd on the embankment (right hand side) but seated fans on the ground in front of the bank. Read more »
The first test match played on Wellington's new Westpac Stadium with not a good start by the AB's!
Wallaby captain John Eales lands a 45 metre last minute penalty and the new pride and joy of Wellington is Christened with a 24-23 loss!
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!
From 1987 to 2011 inclusive; How many men have refereed the seven Rugby World Cup finals?