Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
You are here: Home » News Comment
MY TAKE ON SOME OF THE RUGBY NEWS STORIES WHICH COME INTO MY WORLD.
1 June 2015
Ever wondered just many many - or how few - All Blacks have been our record test try-scorers? You might be surprised. In 112 years of the All Black story there have only been seven test try-scoring record holders. And one old star held the record for 63 years! And can you recall who's the current scorer of most All Black test tries? Check the keithquinnrugby.com records here. Read more »
15 May 2015
Here's how an Olympic Rugby Gold Medal will look for those winners of the Men's and Women's competitions in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. They are a simple design - you might even say not particularly artistic - but they will be so keenly fought for! Read more »
6 May 2015
One of the key reasons for my tour to Europe and North America this year was to visit and pay homage to World War I battlefields and to the rugbymen who died there. We did that for sure, but not before meeting our guide and having lunch at a very appropriate place for New Zealand war watchers in Belgium. Read more »
22 April 2015
Here's an obituary about an old Irish star forward who will be much missed. I met Jimmy McCarthy a number of times. Not only was he a lovely, friendly bloke but the Irish players of modern times loved him too. He was seemingly always close to the national team. This report on his death I reprint from the Irish Rugby Football Union's official website; Read more »
10 March 2015
Special guest writer Adam Julian of Wellington delivers here a very fair profile on the rugby life and post-rugby life of 78 year old Ian Neven MacEwan. Read more »
Bay of Plenty sevens expert Gordon Tietjens takes his first NZ team to Fiji. They didn't win the tournament there but Tietjens stayed coach for 20-plus years
Cardiff, London Welsh and Wales
46 internationals for Wales 1966–78
5 internationals for British Isles 1968–71
One of the most brilliant wings the game has known, Gerald Davies was the prince of sidesteppers, a master of speed and a crowd-pleaser in the extreme. Had he not missed several tours for personal reasons, his talent would have been more widely acclaimed.
Davies finished his schooling and education at Loughborough College and Cambridge University. Imbued with their spirit of playing enjoyable rugby, he soon made his way into the Welsh team. His first international was against Australia in 1966, as a centre.
He played 12 full internationals in that position before making the change to the wing. If he was a success as a centre (good enough to be chosen as a British Lion to South Africa in 1968) he became a wing of exceptional class. His size (only 73kg – 111/2 stone) meant that he was rapidly becoming outmoded as a centre at a time when crash-ball specialists were being used more and more. It was as a wing that he could display more expressively his talents for speed and balance.
Davies was considered one of the best sidesteppers the game has seen, especially off his right foot. Many of his markers and opponents could attest to this, none more so than the Hawke’s Bay team in New Zealand in 1971, which played the British Isles at Napier. Davies sidestepped repeatedly at high speed and ran in four brilliant tries.
Davies played all four test matches for the Lions on that tour, having earlier played in the third test at Cape Town in South Africa in 1968. He declined to tour twice with the Lions, to South Africa in 1974 (uncomfortable with what he had seen of the apartheid policies in 1968) and to New Zealand in 1977, but continued as an international until June 1978, when he quit at the age of 33. His last test match was Wales v Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
At the time his 46 appearances on the wing and at centre made him Wales’s most-capped three-quarter. He and Gareth Edwards then shared the record (20) as the highest try-scorers in Welsh internationals.
Gerald Davies later joined the list of former players who wrote and broadcast about the game. He had a number of books published and was also been an expert television presenter and commentator.
His standing in Wales was such that he was chosen to be the Opening Ceremony ‘voice’ of the Rugby World Cup in Cardiff in 1999.
In 2009 the respect in which Gerald Davies was held was confirmed when he was invited to be the Manager of the British and Irish touring team to South Africa. He also played significant roles as a member of the Board of Directors for the Welsh Rugby Union and a sitting member of the International Rugby Board.
Piri Weepu played 71 tests for the All Blacks; how many times did he play for the full 80 minutes?