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.
Bob Barber ended his time with the All Blacks in Australia and Fiji; in his last four starting games he was no.8, flanker, lock and prop.
Otago, South Canterbury, Southland, Canterbury and New Zealand
3 internationals for New Zealand 1938
A successful All Black manager, coach and theoriser of the game, who wrote a very useful coaching manual, and a fine halfback whose career was cut short by World War II.
Charlie Saxton’s greater claim to fame was as captain of one of the most respected New Zealand rugby sides. Post-war blues were lifted throughout the British Isles and Europe by the sparkling play of the ‘Kiwis’ – a side chosen from New Zealand servicemen.
Captain of the side, and then 32, Saxton lost nothing by comparison with the talented young men joining him, 16 of them going on to become All Blacks. The side won 32 of its 38 matches in a five-month tour, the Saxton dive pass setting off his backs on many a thrilling movement.
He was an outstanding All Blacks manager in 1967 and a life member of the NZRFU.
Two of Ireland's most famous players were known as Jackie Kyle and Willie-John McBride; what were the two 'proper' Christian names each man had?