Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
11 August 2014
Yes it really is going to happen! For those of us over the years who have wondered at an apparent oversight - or even a grave injustice (you can take your pick) it seems that an amalgamation between two World Rugby Halls of Fame is going to be very good news for the great New Zealand All Black Sir Colin Meads.
From 1997 a privately owned body, headquartered in New Zealand, which called itself the International Rugby Hall of Fame, had held functions every couple of years and successfully 'inducted' several dozen of the world's top international players into their IRHOF. They were great parties I must say - I attended some of them.
Included in the opening 'First XV' party held in London was none other than Colin Meads.
Then as the years rolled into the new Millennium, watching from the sidelines it seems the International Rugby Board liked the idea too of having a Hall of Fame. In 2006 the IRB therefore began their own Hall and gradually they phased out the IRHOF. How that happened is a sidebar here and probably not worth going into. Suffice to say the two bodies did not admire each other for a long time.
But as the years rolled by and over 100 men, famous teams, referees, administrators and even some media were inducted ot the IRB's Hall of Fame there seemed to have been a glaring oversight. The great Meads was always overlooked.
Forget that he had been voted by the New Zealand public as their 'Player of the Century' in 1999, and that he was a Commander of the British Empire in New Zealand, and then Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II - there was never a place for him in the IRB Hall of Fame.
There was still no place even when eight other New Zealanders were voted in ahead of him!
And no disrepect to Alfred St George Hamersley, or Vladimir Ilyushin, or the Tsimba brothers, Richard and Kennedy - or Ian Campbell the father of Chilean rugby - surely our 'Pinetree' deserved a place. Have you heard of the other people and theri contribution?
Well, forget all of the aforementioned - now in 2014-15 it is going to change. Following a protracted series of meetings between the IRB and the IRHOF the two Halls will merge. And all those previously inducted into the IRHOF will now go into the IRB Hall.
And quite right too.
Putting it simply, as one who has long campaigned for Meads's inclusion in the IRB Hall (while sometimes feeling like a lone voice I might add) all i can say is -'BOUT BLOODY TIME TOO!
Arguably he was the slowest back on the field but nothing could stop the flying Mortlock; his try that greatly assisted the Aussies in their 22-10 sensational dispatch of the All Blacks.
La Voulte and France
14 internationals for France 1961–68
La Voulte and France
13 internationals for France 1964–68
La Voulte, Beziers and France
36 internationals for France 1982–93
As uncapped brothers Guy and Lilian surfaced in international rugby when both toured New Zealand with France in 1961.
Poor Lilian, one of the victims of the heavy early-tour loss to Waikato, was one of the three halfbacks for the 13-match tour and, though he was never injured, that was his only match.
He went on to play 13 internationals between 1964 and 1968, only once on a losing French side.
Flyhalf Guy played one test on the 1961 tour, the first of his 14 internationals, of which France won 10 and drew one. He scored 113 international points, including the France Five Nations championship’s record of 32 in 1967. He dropped a record five goals (in three matches) that season.
Guy’s son, Didier, also reached international level as a flyhalf, in 1982, 14 years after his father’s career had finished. Didier was a brilliant goal-kicker, setting a world record of 30 points in one game, in France’s World Cup match with Zimbabwe at Auckland in 1987. He was something of a curiosity – he played most of his internationals wearing a full hair-piece.
Didier was France’s vital goal-kicking and tactical flyhalf in the 1991 Rugby World Cup, appearing in three of France’s four games. An injury prevented him playing in the important quarter final with England. France, missing Camberabero’s authority in the number ten jersey, tumbled to defeat.
Didier Camberabero at that point in time, became the highest scorer in French test history and the first Frenchman to pass 300 points in tests.
In the Rugby World Cups 1987-2011 which final drew the biggest crowd?