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MY TAKE ON SOME OF THE RUGBY NEWS STORIES WHICH COME INTO MY WORLD.
30 May 2016
The first 15-aside All Blacks squad of 2016 has been released by the NZRU. Ardie Savea is one of 6 confirmed new caps. Which means he’s also now a member of another ‘exclusive’ New Zealand rugby club; those who were picked first by Gordon Tietjens as New Zealand sevens reps. That list is now climbing fast towards 50 players. Below is my up-date list of ‘Titch’ All Blacks – or rather – the list of ‘he saw them first All Blacks!’ Read more »
26 April 2016
When I attempt to write a tribute about the late New Zealand broadcaster Peter Sellers it is very hard to know where and how to start. Firstly, anyone who is reading this who lives offshore from New Zealand might be saying now, ‘wasn’t Peter Sellers that very funny and talented British actor/comedian of the 1960s? Didn’t he die in 1980?’ Read more »
23 March 2016
In many ways it took the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada to set several new standards for hosting and staging tournaments of the HSBC World Sevens series. Read on... Read more »
4 March 2016
These last few days there have been many fine tributes to test cricketer Martin Crowe. After his death the accolades to Martin have all been warm and all deserved.I was never a cricketer of any note but I would like to offer a tribute to him here if I may. Because Martin Crowe became a huge influence in my life. Read more »
10 January 2016
Here is the latest question to test the real rugby experts among us (self-styled or not) You might even call yourself a nerd! But the question has been raised to me in recent days - what is the widest age gap between two players playing in the same team of a full and official rugby test match. Read more »
3 January 2016
They say a week in politics is a long time. A lot can change... You could say that for a rugby referee the same principle applies. Back in 1971 Humphrey Rainey of Wellington who died on Boxing Day 2015 at the age of 89, was on his way to perhaps getting the call to control a test match on the British Lions tour Down Under of that year. But a week passed after a highly controversial match - and he did not. Read more »
With one test win each NZ and South Africa battled on this day to a 0-0 game in the mud and slush of Athletic Park in Wellington; and the test series is tied.
Racing Club de France, Chalon and France
43 internationals for France 1953–61
A stylish French fullback who became that country’s most-capped last line of defence, Michel Vannier was a gifted runner who was also blessed with a calm assurance. He played in three French teams which won the Five Nations Championship and was a member of the great French team which went to South Africa in 1958 and won the test series.
Vannier first came into the French international side in 1953 against Wales, in Paris. He had an unhappy day but held his place for the internationals of the next season. He steadily built up his tally of caps over the next five seasons. He was an excellent goal-kicker and had a sure touch with a drop-kick. In the end he totaled 175 points in international matches.
Vannier was most unfortunate that a serious knee injury forced him to miss the tests in South Africa in 1958. He missed all of 1959’s international matches but was back in 1960, a comeback that was highly acclaimed and popular with the rugby followers of France.
His last international was in Australia at the end of the French tour there and to New Zealand in 1961. His form on tour had not been as impressive as before, but his total of caps won had reached 43. The mark stood as a French record until the great Serge Blanco passed it in 1987.
Why did the Wallaby rugby team only practice in the afternoons at the 1987 Rugby World Cup?