Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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MY TAKE ON SOME OF THE RUGBY NEWS STORIES WHICH COME INTO MY WORLD.
31 December 2015
Good old Welshman Huw Richards whose written work I have always admired and enjoyed has obviously been keeping a super-close eye on the international rugby happenings of 2015. Read more »
21 December 2015
WHO HAS HELD THE ALL BLACK RECORD FOR 'MOST TESTS?' From the start of the ABs until now. Read more »
9 December 2015
Golly! Turning back the clock today! Martin Devlin of Radio Sport in New Zealand has just had me on-air on his programme asking for memories of the first ever 'Grand Slam win' by an All Blacks team in the United Kingdom. I gave him my best based on using notes from my 'Encyclopedia of World Rugby' published in the 1990s (and updated here) concerning which southern hemisphere countries had done best at this unique achievement. Read on here; Read more »
1 November 2015
Full lists of teams, referees and scoring for each Rugby World Cup match in 2015 were quite tough to collate. I have done such lists for each world cup since 1987. So this is my (so far uncompleted and always open to change) listing of records for the eighth Cup event. You will find here all 48 games; the appearances of those who started or came off the substitutes bench in each game; and/or those who were 'stripped to play' but were not called upon. [The last category are increasingly becoming a rarity in the international game these days] Read more »
1 October 2015
There have been some changes to a number of the teams at the 2015 Rugby World Cup since its Opening Ceremony. Here is an updated list of current players as at 1 October. Read more »
30 September 2015
In his next appearance for the All Blacks, Ma'a Nonu will become the 6th All Black to pass the milestone of appearing in 100 test matches. Here is one young correspondent's memory of his first sighting of the big midfield star. Adam Julian of Wellington takes up what was for him a very sad story.... Read more »
New Zealand's sevens team had won four gold medals in a row from 1998-2010 but on this day at Glasgow in the final New Zealand fell to Kyle Brown's South Africam by 19-12. A great rugby era had ended.
If there has been a problem for Aborigines in Australian rugby history, it mirrors attitudes by the Australian public in general. There was an early typecasting of the race as non-achievers in life as in sport. But in rugby the Aborigines have produced a number of champion players.
The most famous were the Ella brothers, Mark, Glen and Gary, who showed the world a brilliantly instinctive degree of understanding of each other on the field of play. Their fame was worldwide in rugby. All were test players around the same time, though they never all played in the same test match.
Mark Ella was one of the First Fifteen of players inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in London in 1997. He is remembered as one of the glittering stars of Australian rugby. The other two from the family, Glen and Gary, were thrilling backline runners too, and all later became much respected coaches.
It is thought that the first Aborigine player to be capped for Australia was Jack ‘Blondie’ Howard in 1938. His teammates at the time were not all sure of his racial background and Howard apparently was never keen on discussing it. Alongside Howard in the tests of 1938 was Cecil Ramalli,who was part-Indian and part-Aborigine. It is said that Ramali, too, never revealed his Aboriginality. He preferred to be known as part-Indian.
Eventually Aborigine players emerged who were happy to declare their race. Lloyd McDermott of Queensland was a pacy winger who played tests against the All Blacks in 1962.
In the years after the Ella brothers came Lloyd Walker, Barry Lea, Andrew Walker and Jim Williams, all of whom were Wallabies. After originally being a centre, Williams was the first forward of Aborigine descent to play test football.
Dr Danie Craven is often called 'The Father of South African Rugby' - what was he a doctor of?