Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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.
The great Colin Meads plays his last game for his country on this day.
His career as an All Black had lasted 15 seasons inclusive 1957-71. It ended leading NZ to a 14-14 draw again the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park.
Agen, Biarritz Olympique and France
40 internationals for France 1974–87
A no-nonsense French lock whose international career was spread over 14 seasons. At 37, he had the distinction of being the oldest player to appear in the first Rugby World Cup series in New Zealand in 1987.
Haget was a big man, standing 2 metres tall (6ft 6in), and he was a strong lineout jumper. His debut for France was on the tour of Argentina in 1974 and his last games for France were at the World Cup in New Zealand 13 years later. During his rugby days he was croupier at a casino in Biarritz.
Dr Danie Craven is often called 'The Father of South African Rugby' - what was he a doctor of?