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Your website editor has been chosen to commentate on rugby's return to the SummerB Olympic Programme, in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016. His commentaries on the sevens will be part of the host broadcaster coverage for OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Service) the official broadcast TV outlet of the IOC. This will be my tenth Summer Olympic Games. I am publishing here my personal stories and memories of the previous nine Games I have been to. Read here...
The fourth in a series of the personal memories of TVNZ’s Keith Quinn and his trips to the Summer Olympic Games; Read more »
As a 25 year old cub reporter for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation I was selected to go to the Summer Olympic Games in Munich Germany in August-September 1972. I had never been out of New Zealand before and so everywhere I went I had eyes as big as soup plates. On the journey over main memories are of getting off the plane at Fiumicino Airport in Rome and standing boggle-eyed counting the Jumbo jets on the tarmac. I kid you not, there were 29 there. Read more »
*MONTREAL 1976; *This is the Second of eight Summer Olympic Games Keith has attended. Read more »
The fifth in a series of the personal memories of Keith Quinn and his trips to the Summer Olympic Games; Read more »
They did it in style too; beating Canada 38-10 to win a Youth Olympic Gold medal in Nanjing China. The victory saw an Olympic rugby gold medal presented for the first time in 90 years!
These games have become an anachronism in modern rugby. ‘B’ internationals between second – or ‘B’ teams - of countries were played mostly in the second half of the 20th century. The British, Irish and French were the countries that mostly embraced the idea. For a time, some of the hardest games of each European season came in the international ‘B’ matches. The Wales v France ‘B’ teams, in particular, had some robust encounters between 1970 and 1989 when they met annually.
Internationals involving ‘B’ teams were never as popular in South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, though each dabbled with the concept of fielding a ‘second’ national team at some stage.
South Africa actually used to call its ‘second’ selection the ‘Junior’ Springboks. Australia fielded a ‘B’ team for the first time in 1988 when it met New Zealand. In 1991 New Zealand ‘B’ met Australia ‘B’ in Brisbane. New Zealand won an exciting match 21–15.
In 1992 England B toured New Zealand, playing two ‘tests’ against a New Zealand second team that was called the ‘New Zealand XV’.
Modern marketing phased out the concept of ‘B’ games. In the 1990s they were replaced by ‘A’ internationals. The new concept was a marketers way of enticing the paying public to believe they are not seeing second-rate players in action.
So the short history of ‘B’ teams came to an end. Ironically, this was followed by the decision of many countries, led by Wales, for economic reasons, to not even field an ‘A’ team any more.
What was unique about the Hastings brothers, Gavin and Scott, when they made their debuts for Scotland?