Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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.
We found one all right and very enjoyable it was. But in the lane where the tea shop was situated I could not resist the pic opportunity of getting a unique memory of the visit captured. There right in front of the shop was an expression of 'Rugby' I had not seen or thought of before!
So here it is - your website author in front of a rubbishy shot about the game - which is part of one man's record of a lifetime of being interested in the simple game which started in a small village where 30 men learned to eventually follow a bouncing ball.
Richard Hugh McCaw - to be known universally as Richie - came into the world.
Several international rugby matches (of sorts) have been played on the ice of Antarctica, so they should be recognized in an A-Z such as this.
In 1989 a group of scientists and staff started a match between USA and New Zealand. It is a fixture on the ice which has been played intermittently over the years since.
There are several unique features about rugby in Antarctica. Firstly the game is played on a snow-covered ice field and sometimes there have been no goal posts. Implanting posts into the rock-hard ice is nigh impossible. Sometimes the game has been delayed several days until the weather clears. The clothing the players wear is interesting; often it has been full kit needed for living in extremely cold temperatures. Sometimes too, the teams have been of mixed gender. And often it is not certain whether teams will be at full strength. One year a New Zealand squad gathered prospective players at 3pm, picked their best line up, and the game kicked off at 3.30!
In an international between the New Zealand Scott Base team and the USA McMurdo Base team in 2001, the New Zealanders scored three tries to one, but the score was posted in the weekly Antarctic Sun newspaper as being 9-3. Obviously the message had not made it through to the people on the ice of the increase in points values for a try! That had first happened over 30 years earlier!
Why did the Wallaby rugby team only practice in the afternoons at the 1987 Rugby World Cup?