Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
9 August 2014
GOOD NEWS AT LAST FOR OUR 'PINETREE!'
With the merging of the two previously rival Rugby Halls of Fame it now means that the oversight (well that's been my view for eight years or so) of Colin Meads of New Zealand not being recognised by the International Rugby Board has been corrected.
When the privately-owned International Rugby Hall of Fame started in 1997 Meads was one of the 'First XV' inducted in London. But when the IRB began their own Hall of Fame nine years later, there was seemingly no place anywhere for Meads. That was even though he was voted New Zealand's 'Player of the Century' by the New Zealand public in 1999 and had been Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.
In the meantime well over 100 other individual players, officials, coaches, teams and media from all over the world had been inducted. But no Meads!
Though no one was ever given a reason it has now been rectified, albeit at a late time in the great New Zealander's life.
The All Blacks beat Wales 19-0 in Swansea; with, they said, one point scored for every year they had waited to avenge Wales's controversial 3-0 win in 1905.
Elected president of the French Rugby Federation in 1968, Albert Ferrasse of Agen built for himself the formidable reputation of being the most powerful administrator in French rugby.
Born in 1917, Ferrasse played at lock in the Agen team which won the national club championship of France in 1945. Later he made the reserves for the French XV. After his playing days were over, he took to refereeing with considerable success, refereeing the French club final of 1959.
Under his guidance France was admitted to the International Rugby Board in 1978. Ferrasse, very pro-British in his outlook, also fought sternly to allow South Africa to maintain its place in world rugby. Through France’s association with FIRA, he kept a weather eye on the emerging countries of European rugby.
Well known for taking a strong stance on rough play in rugby, ‘Tonton Albert’ (Uncle Albert) Ferrasse also introduced the rigid club transfer rules in France. Outsiders asked about the apparent ‘liberal’ attitude in France towards the amateur spirit of the game, but Ferrasse repeatedly claimed he investigated any complaints of the amateur spirit and could find few, if any, breaches. Talk is one thing, proof is another, he said, when questioned about reported professionalism in French club rugby. He was also once quoted as saying that ‘it is quite an achievement that rugby still resists the aggression of money’.
The authoritative reign of Ferrasse ended after 23 years in December 1991 when he resigned. After a prolonged backstage battle, Bernard Lapasset was elected in his place as the new president of the French Rugby Federation. Lapasset of course, went on to become Chairmain of the International Rugby Board.
What was significant about J.I.Rees (Wales) and W.R.Logan (Scotland) captaining their countries against each other in 1937?