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 »
And the Richie McCaw led, and Graham Henry coached, 2011 All Blacks begin their campaign by beating Tonga 41-10 on Eden Park
One of the more prominent Welsh clubs, Aberavon was founded in 1876 and is centred at Port Talbot, near Swansea. After a particularly bright period of play in the 1920s, the Aberavon team became known as the ‘Wizards’. The name stuck and today a wizard is incorporated in the club’s monogram.
With the tough industrial and employment conditions associated with the coalﬁelds and steelworks of south Wales in recent years, so has Aberavon undergone tough times. These days the club is semi-professional and has had only modest success. In 2001 it did win the National Division One club league for the third time.
The club had four famous three-quarters in the 1920s – John Ring, Alun Edwards, Syd Williams and Arthur Bassett – but all later switched to rugby league. The club’s 1984 top try-scorer, Kevin James, also left the district to play league. In 1985 he played for Hull in rugby league’s top match of the year, the Challenge Cup ﬁnal.
Aberavon’s leading cap-winner for Wales is Allan Martin, who played 34 internationals for his country between 1973 and 1981. The big lock also toured with the British Isles to New Zealand (1977) and to South Africa (1980).
Other prominent Wizards from over the years include John Bevan (Welsh international 1975, British Isles tour to New Zealand 1977 and Welsh national team coach 1982–86); Ned Jenkins (21 internationals for Wales 1927–32); Tony O’Connor (ﬁve internationals for Wales 1960–62, British Isles tour to South Africa 1962); and Clive Williams (Welsh international prop 1977–83 who later played for Swansea and toured New Zealand with the British Isles 1977 and South Africa 1980). Billy James (1983-87) is the only club player to have captained the Welsh national XV.
One family which had a close association with Aberavon is the family of Richard Burton. The famous actor used to recall that his father always used to say,‘when I die, do not bury me on a Saturday. If you do you will miss watching The Wizards play.”
The Aberavon team plays in red and black hooped jerseys,
Why was the kickoff for the Japan v Wales in Cardiff in 1983 delayed for 15 minutes?