On This Day - October

September - October - November - December - January - February

Take a trip down memory lane courtesy of our historian John Griffiths.



1908 - The original Wallabies beat a strong Gloucestershire XV 16-0 at Kingsholm in the second match of their tour of England and Wales.

1947 - An official Australian touring side plays its first game at Twickenham for 19 years, beating the Combined Services 19-8. Skipper Bill McLean breaks his left leg ten minutes from time and never plays first-class rugby again.

1974 - The Tongan tourists concede too many penalties through short-arm tackling in their match against the North of England at Birkenhead. The North land three penalties to win 17-12, though the Tongans win 3-2 on tries scored.

1977 - John Scott leads England Under-23s to a hard-fought 10-6 victory over their French counterparts at Orrell. Future England stars Paul Dodge and John Carleton face a French back division that includes young Serge Blanco and Jérôme Gallion.

1979 - South African Barbarians arrive at London Heathrow for their short tour of Britain. Within hours they are lucky to escape unharmed when the coach taking them to the South-West bursts into flames on the M4 near Swindon.

1999 - Wales beat Argentina 23-18 in a Cardiff downpour in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup.


1909 - First-ever match staged at Twickenham: Harlequins beat Richmond 14-10 in front of a crowd of 2,000.

1924 - The Invincible Second All Blacks have their toughest tour assignment when they are considered lucky to scrape home 13-10 against a star-studded Newport XV.

1966 - The Athletic club in Wellington (NZ) departs on an ambitious 11-match world tour that will take in matches in Britain, Ireland, Hong Kong and Japan.

1976 - Combined Services register a rare victory over a touring side defeating Japan 23-21 at Devonport.

1976 - Argentina serve notice of their rapidly rising rugby stock by beating a Cardiff side captained by Gerald Davies. The Pumas win 29-25 despite losing prop Mario Carluccio who needs the kiss of life from Cardiff trainer Tom Holley to revive him ten minutes from time.


1931 - Bennie Osler's Third Springboks open their tour of Britain with a 14-3 victory against Gloucestershire/Somerset Combined at Bristol.

1962 - Doug Prentice, captain of the 1930 Lions to Australia and New Zealand and secretary of the RFU since 1947, dies in hospital aged 64 after a long illness.

1966 - England fly-half Tom Brophy signs for Barrow RL club. The 24-year-old Rossall chemistry teacher was due to appear in the first England RU trial at the end of the week.

1967 - Keith Savage scores a try hat-trick for England in their 33-3 tour victory against Ontario in Toronto.

1970 - In a special four countries match to launch the RFU's Centenary England/Wales draw 14-all with Scotland/Ireland in perfect conditions at Twickenham. It is only the sixth such fixture since 1923.

1971 - During a "holiday" in France Welsh Grand Slam prop Denzil Williams turns out for Vichy in the French Championship Division One in their 26-4 loss to Pau.

1991 - New Zealand beat England 18-12 in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup tournament.


1917 - Dave Gallaher, distinguished captain of the 1905 original All Blacks, dies of wounds received at Passchendaele, aged 43.

1947 - Trevor Allan, outstanding young centre with the visiting Australian team, succeeds injured captain Bill McLean as tour-party skipper and begins his leadership with a resounding 49-0 victory over Northumberland/Durham Combined at Gosforth.

1951 - Rex Mossop, the young Australian lock who played against the 1950 British/Irish Lions, turns professional, signing for Leigh RL club in England for a reported fee of £4,000 - a then record for an Australian forward.

1976 - The Barbarians, playing against a Scottish club fifteen for the first time, beat Melrose 47-17 at the Greenyards in a match to mark the Scottish club's centenary.

1989 - France's first defeat at Parc des Princes for seven years. A British/Irish Home Unions side led by Rob Andrew wins the floodlit international staged to celebrate the bi-centenary of the French Revolution 29-27.

2002 - The IRB decides to cancel its proposed Northern Hemisphere v Southern Hemisphere match.


1940 - St Thomas's cancel their match with Guy's when they are unable to field a side owing to heavy overnight bombing of their Hospital.

1962 - A Canadian representative party arrives at London Airport to undertake their first British tour for 60 years.

1966 - A young Ian McGeechan makes his senior representative debut playing fly-half for Yorkshire against South of Scotland at Melrose.

1974 - Coventry beat Leicester 13-3 despite losing their flanker Brian Holt, sent off in the first half for kicking Tigers forward David Forfar. Holt is later banned for four weeks.

1975 - Former Wales captain Rees Stephens is forced to resign after a successful stint on the Welsh Rugby Union selection committee owing to ill-health. Jack Young takes his place.

1991 - The late Ivan Francescato sparks a bright Italian performance with a try in their 30-9 defeat of the United States in a World Cup pool match staged at Otley.


1956 - The Italian national side wind up their early-season tour of England and Wales going down by the artistic margin of one point - 15-14 - against Harlequins.

1973 - Wales beat Japan 62-14 at Cardiff in the first representative match staged between the nations. Wales dominate from start to finish running in eleven tries.

1974 - The Gordon club from Sydney open their British tour with a 16-8 defeat by Wasps in a Sunday match at Sudbury. Wasps' lock Bruce Peters is sent off for striking an opponent.

1979 - Wales, the Five Nations champions, are pushed to the limit by Romania at Cardiff. The Romanians, in the final match of a hitherto unbeaten tour of Wales, go down 13-12 when Gareth Davies drops a late goal in controversial circumstances.

1991 - In arguably the biggest upset of Test rugby history, Western Samoa beat Wales 16-13 in a World Cup group match at Cardiff Arms Park.

2007 - England's brilliant pack demolishes Australia while Jonny Wilkinson fires the World Cup holders to a 12-10 quarter-final victory in Marseilles. Later World Cup favourites New Zealand surrender their lead to fall 20-18 to France in a quarter-final match staged in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.


1905 - In the seventh match of their tour, the Original All Blacks concede their first try: against Durham, the English county champions, who have to start the match with only 13 men owing to traffic hold-ups.

1939 - Swansea's first wartime home match draws a crowd of 2,500 to the St Helen's ground to see the All Whites beat Neath 18-0, scrum-half Haydn Tanner scoring two tries and kicking two conversions.

1967 - England wind up their unbeaten tour of Canada with a 53-3 victory against Eastern Provinces in Ottawa. It is the biggest win of the tourists' five-match visit.

1970 - Fiji, honouring their special invitation to mark the RFU's Centenary with a tour to England, open their visit with a convincing 17-3 win against a combined Devon/Cornwall XV at Exeter.

2007 - Argentina beat Scotland 19-13 at Stade de France to reach the World Cup semi-finals for the first time.

2007 - In the wake of the quarter-final defeat by France the NZRFU announces that a review will take place before Christmas when the future of coach Graham Henry will be considered.


1949 - County Championship Saturday in the West Country sees Gloucestershire's Bill Hook kick a last-minute penalty to force a 3-3 draw with arch-rivals Cornwall while Devon see off Somerset 13-10 in Torquay, thanks to a length-of-the-pitch run for a try by St Luke's student Keith Maddocks.

1955 - All Black Ron Jarden, with 21 points on the last day of the New Zealand season, scores 21 points to bring his first-class tally for the campaign to 200 - a new record for New Zealand rugby.

1957 - Famous South African wing Tom van Vollenhoven, a miner, accepts an offer to join St Helens RL club in England.

1960 - Gloucestershire mark the 50th anniversary of their first County Championship title with a special match against Yorkshire, their opponents in the 1910 Final. Gloucestershire win 10-0 in front of a crowd that includes all four of their three-quarters from the match fifty years earlier.

1966 - Prior to their match against Blackheath at Rodney Parade, Newport unveil a plaque to the memory of their long-serving secretary Bill Everson, who had died earlier in the year.

1991 - Italy concedes a staggering 37 penalties during a 6-36 World Cup defeat by England at Twickenham.


1943 - Former Wales scrum-half Danny Evans is roped in to play for Bath against the RAF ..... having originally expected to referee the match. He helps Bath to a 15-5 victory after the club find themselves a couple of players short.

1974 - The Tongans' rough play lets them down at Rodney Parade where they lose 14-9 to Newport. Head-high tackles result in a steady stream of penalties to the home side and lock Fa'aleo Tupi is sent off for punching fullback Jeff Hazzard 12 minutes from time.

1980 - South Africa plays their first representative match on Paraguayan soil, winning 84-6 against an invitation XV in Asunción.

1991 - Scotland and Ireland beat Zimbabwe and Japan respectively to book their passages to the World Cup quarter-final stages.

1993 - Bath, on their way to a League/Cup double in Jack Rowell's last season as their coach, beat Wasps 19-13 at Sudbury. Jon Callard kicks three penalties and Ben Clarke and Mike Catt score tries for the winners.

2000 - Josh Kronfeld, 54 caps for the All Blacks, announces that he is retiring from New Zealand rugby and will end his career in the northern hemisphere.


1920 - The United States, having beaten France in the Olympic Final in Antwerp a month earlier, lose 14-5 in a replay staged at the Colombes Stadium in Paris.

1931 - Brilliant Springbok back, Gerry Brand, stamps his class in the tourists' match at Swansea, scoring a try and kicking two conversions in a 10-3 victory at St Helen's.

1942 - A war-time Rosslyn Park XV featuring several international players beats a New Zealand Army XV 26-5 in the presence of Mr W J Jordan, the New Zealand High Commissioner.

1953 - Former England fullback John Collins injures knee ligaments playing for Cornwall against Devon and is compelled at 24 to give up playing altogether.

1965 - Richmond on a short tour to Italy beat Milan 21-6 in a well-attended Sunday match in Milan.

2003 - Defending champions Australia kick-off the Rugby World Cup with a 24-8 victory over Argentina in Sydney.


1905 - The Original All Blacks record their biggest victory of the tour to Britain, Ireland and France, scoring 15 tries and beating Hartlepool Clubs 63-0.

1920 - Fédération Française de Rugby is formed to control the affairs of French rugby. Prior to this date French rugby was controlled by a general sporting body.

1941 - The famous Welsh Rugby League international Gus Risman appears in the unaccustomed position of scrum-half for The Army in a 17-3 defeat by Wasps at the Richmond Athletic Ground while the ban on league players appearing in Union is lifted for the duration of the war.

1969 - Newport wing Peter Rees scores two tries in the club's 47-11 defeat of Blackheath to take his career total for the Black and Ambers past Ken Jones's old club record of 146.

1976 - Dusty Hare, capped once by England from Nottingham in 1974, announces that he is to join Leicester in the hope that playing more regular first-class matches will bring him to the notice of the national selectors.

1996 - IRB announce that six replacements instead of four will be allowed in Tests and that, for the first time, tactical substitutions will be permitted.


1938 - No 8 Marcus Dods, later a very distinguished musician, cuts an impressive figure playing for the Whites during their 17-5 win against the Colours in the seniors trial at Cambridge University.

1957 - Howard Levien, 22, equal leading points scorer for the All Blacks as a threequarter in Australia earlier in the year, has a leg amputated below the knee in Dunedin Hospital after his motor-cycle is involved in a collision with a bus.

1974 - West Wales beat Tonga 14-6 in a fierce, rugged match at St Helen's, Swansea.

1976 - New Zealand break new ground playing their first ever representative match against Uruguay. The All Blacks win 64-3 in Montevideo in a non-cap match.

1991 - Feeble Wales crash out of the World Cup, losing 38-3 to Australia at Cardiff. Wales win only two line-outs in the entire match.

2003 - England begin their World Cup challenge by disposing of Georgia 84-6 at the Subiaco Oval in Perth.


1888 - Moseley become the first British side to beat a touring side, winning by two goals and a try to a goal and a try against the New Zealand Native team.

1951 - The European tour by the Fourth Springboks begins with a 17-8 victory against the South-Western Counties at Home Park, Plymouth. Okey Geffin contributes 14 of the tourists' points with a conversion and four penalty goals.

1962 - The Canadian touring team opens its British tour at Exeter with a 30-8 defeat by a Western Clubs combination led by England fly-half Richard Sharp.

1973 - In his first big representative match fullback Dusty Hare scores two tries and kicks a penalty goal for the England Under 23s in their 19-10 victory over the Japanese tourists at Twickenham.

1974 - France, at full strength in Bucharest, fall 15-10 to Romania in their annual match.

2007 - England beat World Cup hosts France 14-9 in Paris to reach their second successive World Cup Final.


1900 - First representative match between French and German XVs. France win 27-17 against a team drawn from the Frankfurt area.

1931 - The Third Springboks are given a fright by the valleys combination of Abertillery/Cross Keys who make the tourists struggle for a 10-9 win.

1961 - In the Anglo-Welsh clash of the day Cardiff successfully defend their ground record with a 9-9 draw against unbeaten Northampton. The match is described as one that will "long be remembered as a classic."

1967 - Brian Lochore's Sixth All Blacks begin their northern hemisphere tour with a 36-3 defeat of British Columbia in Vancouver.

1972 - Scotland kick-off their Centenary celebrations with a four countries match at Murrayfield. Scotland/Ireland are too strong for England/Wales running out winners by 30-21 thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Ireland's Mike Gibson.

1978 - In the first representative meeting between the teams England and Argentina draw 13-all at Twickenham. Hugo Porta saves the Pumas with a late penalty goal.

2007 - Two Bryan Habana tries and 17 points from Percy Montgomery see South Africa comfortably defeat Argentina 37-13 in Paris to reach the World Cup Final.


1938 - Bath, inspired by their England centre R A Gerrard, win the 103rd local derby with Bristol by 11-5 at Bath in front of 5,000 spectators.

1953 - Bob Stuart's Fourth All Blacks - the first New Zealand representatives to fly to Europe - leave Auckland for their four-day journey to London Airport.

1968 - The Wallabies land in Dublin for their first short tour exclusively to Ireland/Scotland. Their predecessors of 1908-09 had played in England and Wales only. The logic behind the visit in 1968 was to make up for the omission of the Gaelic leg of the tour sixty years earlier.

1969 - Cardiff, Wales and Lions wing Maurice Richards joins Salford RL and plays the same evening in their 15-5 defeat of Leigh. Richards, who is a lay preacher, has a "no-Sunday play" clause in his agreement.

1977 - Current labour MP Derek Wyatt scores four tries for the England XV that defeats the USA 37-11 in the Eagles' first-ever appearance at Twickenham.

1999 - England score a ton against Tonga in a World Cup pool match at Twickenham. The Islanders have a man sent off as England run away to a 101-10 victory.


1897 - Blackheath, the leading club in England, maintain their unbeaten start to the season beating Old Merchant Taylors' 25-0. The club, moreover, protects its remarkable record of not yet conceding a single score.

1976 - England Under-23s run in ten tries including a hat-trick by right-wing Charles Kent to sink Japan 58-15 at Twickenham.

1976 - A full-strength Welsh XV struggles to beat Argentina 20-19 at Cardiff. Only a desperate penalty goal kicked by Phil Bennett five minutes into added time at the end of the match saves a Welsh side of all the talents.

1993 - Ieuan Evans scores a try in the first minute to send Wales on their way to a (then) record Welsh victory, 55-5, against Japan, at Cardiff.

1995 - Laurie Mains, who coached the New Zealand side that earlier in the year lost the World Cup Final against South Africa, announces that he will stand down as coach at the end of the All Blacks' European tour in November.

1999 - Leicester, after losing two of their first three Premiership matches, defeat London Irish away by 31-30 and lose only once more in a season that brings them their fourth Premiership title.


1908 - Llanelli beat the first Australian tour side 8-3 at Stradey Park and commemorate the occasion with the first airing of "Who beat the Wallabies?"

1936 - Cambridge University beat Harlequins 16-11 at Twickenham in a match referee by the MP for Swindon, Wavell Wakefield who had appeared for both clubs during his distinguished playing career.

1942 - The Army defeat a South Wales XV 16-12 in the first of a popular series of Swansea wartime services matches featuring strong representative fifteens.

1956 - Garfield Owen, Newport and Wales fullback who won six caps, signs for Halifax RL club for a fee described as "a near club record." Television viewers see the 24-year-old schoolmaster sign during the BBC's Sportsview programme.

1959 - A host of British and Irish Lions line up for a celebration match to mark Twickenham's Jubilee. England & Wales beat Scotland & Ireland 26-17 in a thriller.

1964 - France beat Fiji 21-3 in Paris in the first international match staged between the countries.

1970 - Wales defeat the RFU President's XV 26-11 in a special match arranged to mark the completion of the National Stadium redevelopment at Cardiff Arms Park.


1906 - The Glamorgan selectors invite Gwyn Nicholls, who had announced his retirement earlier in the year, to return and lead the county in their forthcoming match with the First Springboks. Nicholls, on this occasion, graciously turns down the invite.

1951 - Basil Kenyon, captain of the Fourth Springboks, sustains an eye injury in the tourists' match at Pontypool that brings to an end his promising rugby career. The match is refereed by Gowerton's Gwyn Walters, one of the youngest refs on the first-class scene.

1988 - Argentina are without their inspirational captain Hugo Porta for an eight-match tour of France that begins inauspiciously with an 18-15 defeat by a French Selection at Dijon.

1997 - Matt Dawson in the unlikely role of place-kicker steers Northampton to a decisive 25-6 League victory over old Midlands rivals Leicester at Franklin's Gardens.

1997 - Newcastle, on their way to winning the League title, beat Sale to maintain their 100% record. Rob Andrew fires the champions-in-waiting with three penalties and a couple of conversions.

2003 - In their key World Cup pool match England beat South Africa 25-6 in Perth. Will Greenwood scores the only try of the match and Jonny Wilkinson kicks 20 points for the winners.


1938 - Glamorgan beat Monmouthshire 8-6 at Ebbw Vale without three of their leading players who missed the train connection at Cardiff. Neath's international flanker Cyril Challinor and another forward Jack Brothers of Aberavon play centre for the winners in a hastily rearranged side.

1952 - Oxford Blue and England centre Brian Boobbyer quits rugby at 24 to become a worker for the Moral Rearmament Movement (known as the Oxford Group) in the Far East.

1966 - The Fifth Wallabies, led by John Thornett, make an inauspicious start to their British tour losing 17-14 through a last-minute penalty goal against the North-Eastern Counties at Gosforth.

1967 - Wales captain and star fly-half David Watkins signs for Salford RL club. The fee is reported to be £13,000, a new record for a rugby league signing.

1991 - Scotland burst Western Samoa's World Cup bubble. The Islanders go down 28-6 in a Murrayfield quarter-final.

2007 - Argentina round-off their best World Cup to date by beating hosts France 34-10 at Parc des Princes, Paris, in the Bronze Final.


1951 - A huge crowd at the Arms Park watches Cardiff test the Fourth Springboks before finally losing 11-9.

1969 - Don White, the recently-appointed England coach for their forthcoming game with South Afroca, is reported on the injured list at St Cross Hospital in Rugby after suffering head, chest and leg injuries sustained in a car accident with an articulated lorry.

1973 - The London Welsh/Llanelli fixtures traditionally staged on the third Saturday in October (with a return at Stradey on Boxing Day) are regarded as unofficial Welsh trials during the glory days of the decade of the dragon. The Exiles, led by John Taylor, win this nail-biter 10-9 through a last-minute Keith Hughes try. There are 13 Welsh internationals on the field ... and another two are capped later.

1984 - Hugo Porta kicks three goals to inspire the Jaguars to a famous 32-15 Test victory over the Springboks in Pretoria.

1991 - In the quarter-finals of the World Cup Australia beat Ireland 19-18 in Dublin thanks to a last-minute Michael Lynagh try, and New Zealand overcome a brave Canadian effort 29-13 in Lille.

2001 - Ireland skipper Keith Wood inspires his side to a 20-14 win against England with an early try in Dublin. England are thus deprived of the Grand Slam in a Six Nations season that is delayed owing to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease earlier in the year.

2007 - South Africa beat England 15-6 - five penalties to two - to win the sixth Rugby World Cup Final.


1939 - Llanelli beat Swansea in the first wartime meeting of the clubs at Stradey Park. Rev H C Bowen, muscular Christianity personified, is the outstanding forward of the Scarlets' pack in what is described in the press as "a delightful game."

1970 - England and Lions fullback Bob Hiller is in imperious form as captain of Surrey kicking five goals (three penalties and two conversions) in a 28-3 defeat of Hampshire in a County Championship match.

1978 - Argentina finish their tour of Britain/Ireland with a flourish, defeating Leinster 24-13 at Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Hugo Porta plays his captain's part well scoring 17 of his side's points.

1980 - Near the end of their 16-10 win against Llanelli, New Zealand appear to have their lock Graeme Higginson ordered off by referee Allan Hosie. Phil Bennett and Scarlets' captain Ray Gravell engage Mr Hosie who finally blows for full time declaring that Higginson was not sent off.

2000 - Stade Français beat London Wasps 40-10 in a pool match that marks the 300th game in Heineken European Cup history.

2007 - IRB announces that several ELVs designed to keep the ball in play longer will be tested during the 2008 Super 14 competition.


1952 - Hertfordshire play their first-ever game as a fully-fledged County Championship side. They surprise Dorset/Wilts at Salisbury winning the Southern Group match 5-3.

1955 - The WRU celebrates its 75th anniversary with a match against the British/Irish Lions. The Lions, with a strong side drawn mainly from their party in South Africa earlier the same year, win 20-17 in front of a 40,000 crowd at Cardiff Arms Park.

1960 - The Fifth Springboks open their tour of Britain with a 29-9 win against the Southern Counties in Hove.

1977 - Grand Slam champions France underline their class with a 29-18 victory over their President's World XV at Parc des Princes, Paris. Jean-Pierre Romeu and Jacques Fouroux pull the strings from half-back, Romeu dropping a goal and converting three tries.

1983 - Japan give a Welsh XV a fright in an uncapped international, staging a late comeback to lose by only five points (29-24) at Cardiff.

1997 - Former New Zealand captain Graham Mourie signs a three-year contract to coach Wellington.


1951 - South Africa end their first week of the Welsh section of their tour by beating Llanelli 20-11 at Stradey Park.

1963 - Wilson Whineray's Fifth All Blacks begin their European tour with a 19-3 victory against Oxford University at Iffley Road.

1971 - England Schoolboy international (and future full cap) Charles Kent is prevented by his school, Blundell's, from turning out for Somerset in their County Championship fixture with Gloucestershire.

1993 - Teenager Jeff Wilson joins the small band of New Zealand's duel cricket/rugby representatives. He scores two tries on his All Black debut in a 39-12 tour win against the London and South-East Division at Twickenham.

1999 - In the first quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup, Wales are beaten 24-9 by Australia in a downpour at Cardiff.

2001 - Robbie Deans is appointed as assistant coach to new All Blacks chief John Mitchell.


1912 - Newport become the first side to beat the Second Springboks, defeating Billy Millar's side 9-3 at Rodney Parade.

1936 - Former British/Irish Lion Roy Jennings marks his 54th appearance for Cornwall with 15 points in the 18-0 County Championship win against West-Country rivals Somerset at Wellington.

1949 - Coventry, one of the strongest clubs in England, announces the reintroduction of an old tradition. For the first time for 30 years the club is to award caps to players who have made 50 first XV appearances.

1959 - Oxford University rout United Services (Portsmouth) 38-5 at Iffley Road refereed by one Denis Thatcher, then a well-known London Society whistler.

1970 - The Fijians enjoy their finest hour on their tour of England beating a strong Barbarians side 29-9 at Gosforth.

1981 - New Zealand struggle to beat Romania 14-6 in Bucharest in the first official Test match involving the nations.

1999 - Jannie de Beer sets a world test record that is never likely to be surpassed, dropping five goals for South Africa against England in a World Cup quarter final staged in Paris.


1904 - Percy Coles is appointed the first paid secretary of the Rugby Football Union.

1966 - It is reported that Australian tour captain John Thornett has impetigo, a condition that precludes physical contact. The prop forward has to miss four matches for the condition to clear.

1967 - The All Blacks begin the British leg of their visit with a convincing 33-3 win against the North of England at Manchester.

1974 - Tonga, on their way home from their first tour of Britain, overwhelm Canada 40-14 in a fast, open match in Vancouver

1980 - In glorious conditions Graham Mourie's All Blacks cut loose to score six tries in a 32-0 demolition of Swansea at St Helen's.

2003 - Australia rattle up their record total beating Namibia 142-0 in a World Cup pool match at Adelaide.


1935 - In one of their best performances of the tour, the Third All Blacks sink Cardiff 20-5 at the Arms Park.

1940 - Financial difficulties precipitated by the war force Swansea to surrender the lease of the St Helen's Ground to the corporation who, for their part, agree to waive all rents and rates chargeable to the club.

1960 - Heavy rain which was to attend them throughout their visit restricts the open play of the Springboks during a 24-5 victory over Oxford University in the first mid-week match of their tour.

1966 - Australia's 11-9 victory against Oxford University is marred by controversy. Their hooker Ross Cullen is accused of biting opposing prop Ollie Waldron's ear compelling the Oxford forward to retire for treatment.

1968 - In the first international match to be played under the so-called Australian dispensation law restricting kicking to touch from outside the 25s, Ireland beat Australia 10-3 at Lansdowne Road, Dublin.

1991 - Rob Andrew's late dropped goal at Murrayfield brings England a 9-6 victory over Scotland in the first semi-final of the Rugby World Cup.

2003 - Despite beating Samoa 35-22 in a Melbourne World Cup pool match, England are guilty of briefly placing 16 men on the field during a replacement mix-up and have to sweat over the prospect of being docked tournament points for the misdemeanour.


1938 - The Yorkshire and England trialist scrum-half Pilot-Officer John Sowerbutts is killed on a flight over the North Yorkshire Moors. According to RAF records he is the 186th casualty in the 98th fatal accident of the year.

1945 - The New Zealand Expeditionary Forces XV, better known as the famous Kiwis, begin their marathon European rugby tour with a 22-6 win against a Swansea team led by Haydn Tanner.

1966 Australian manager Bill McLaughlin sends home his hooker Ross Cullen as punishment for biting an opponent during the previous day's tour match at Oxford University. Cullen takes the night flight to Sydney and never plays for his country again.

1973 - In a full cap match in Bordeaux France struggle to beat Japan 30-18. The French are booed off the pitch by a crowd that reserves its applause for the tourists. The game winds up the first-ever European tour undertaken by Japan, who were managed by Shiggy Konno ... a rugby-loving Tokyo businessman who spoke perfect English.

1979 - Newport end a long sequence of 18 matches without victory when they defeat the South African Barbarians 21-15 at Rodney Parade.

1991 - New Zealand are defeated in a World Cup match for the first time, losing 16-6 against Australia in a semi-final staged in Dublin.


1947 - Australia's Col Windon is sent-off by referee Ivor David during the second half of the Wallabies' tour match against Llanelli at Stradey Park. Despite playing with 14 men, the Wallabies avenge their 1908 defeat by the Scarlets and win 6-4.

1950 - Oxford University, embarking on a vintage season, defeat Cardiff 11-6 at Iffley Road. Cardiff field five past./present Welsh internationals including future great, Cliff Morgan.

1967 - England centre Danny Hearn is permanently paralysed after making a tackle playing for a Regional XV against the All Blacks at Leicester.

1972 - The Sixth All Blacks launch their British tour with a convincing 39-12 win against Western Counties, Bryan Williams scoring a hat trick of tries.

1972 - The Hong Kong squad announced for the seven-nation Asian Championships includes two Scottish internationals: wing Alastair Biggar, who is on a business trip, and fullback Ian Smith who is on Army service.

2003 - In the World Cup battle of the minnows Uruguay beat Georgia (in their first finals) 24-12 at Aussie Stadium, Sydney.


1927 - The Waratahs tour side from New South Wales, having been relieved of their unbeaten record at Oxford University in mid-week, put their tour back on course with a convincing 20-8 win against Leicestershire at Leicester.

1950 - Sunday press reports reveal that England lock Geoff Hosking, a marine commander instructor, has been playing international rugby with a broken back. X-rays showed the long-standing fracture and the powerfully-built forward underwent an operation.

1960 - Welsh referee Gwynne Walters from Gowerton has one of the toughest ordeals of his career taking control of the Cardiff-Springboks clash. The South Africans win an ill-tempered match 13-0.

1968 - South Africa begins its first short tour exclusively to France with a 24-3 defeat of a French Selection at Toulon, wing Jannie Engelbrecht crossing for four tries.

1988 - Australia, three defeats in the three previous divisional matches on their England tour, at last come good with a 25-18 victory over the Midland Division at Leicester. Nick Farr-Jones and Michael Lynagh are the architects of an encouraging win that comes one week before the Test against England.

1996 - Reigning Courage League champions Bath smash local rivals Bristol 76-7 at the Rec with Mike Catt gathering 22 points including a full house of scoring actions.


1948 - Loughborough Colleges reach the end of October with an extraordinary scoring record. Their three fifteens end the month with 334 points for and only 24 against in nine matches. Star players are Welsh wing Ken Jones and future Wales fullback Gerwyn Williams.

1963 - Dick Uzzell drops the goal that seals Newport's 3-0 victory over Wilson Whineray's All Blacks.

1967 - Referee Gwyn Walters abandons the Llanelli-Belgrano match after 60 minutes owing to pouring rain. Llanelli, leading 8-0, are happy to leave the field, but the Argentine tourists stand their ground and eventually come off to claim victory on the grounds that their opponents had withdrawn from the game.

1968 - Guy's Hospital mark the 125th anniversary of their foundation with a match against Dr Windsor Lewis's start-studded Invitation XV. The guests include Lions and England tight-head Tony Horton who announces that the game will be his last first-class match.

1969 - Dawie de Villiers's Sixth Springboks land at Heathrow Airport for the "demo" tour that is to be their last official visit to the UK for 23 years.

1976 - Impressive France give notice to the Home Unions of their Grand Slam potential beating Australia 34-6 (six tries to nil) at the Parc des Princes.

1976 - In their first-ever representative match against Argentina, New Zealand win 21-9 in Buenos Aires. Hugo Porta drops a goal for the Pumas.


1906 - In their first-ever appearance at Cardiff Arms Park the South African touring side are made to work hard for a narrow 6-3 victory against Glamorgan.

1931 - South of Scotland hold Bennie Osler's Third Springboks to a pointless draw at Melrose in the ninth match of the tour - the first side to hold the visitors on their tour.

1953 - The Fourth All Blacks begin their tour with a convincing 24-0 win against the Southern Counties at Hove Greyhound Stadium.

1962 - Oxford University inflict their then record win over a touring team, beating the Canadians 56-0 at Iffley Road.

1972 - Llanelli, coached by Carwyn James, beat Ian Kirkpatrick's All Blacks 9-3 at Stradey Park. South Wales's pubs run dry by 6pm.

1978 - Munster beat Graham Mourie's New Zealanders 12-0 in Limerick - still the All Blacks' only defeat by an Irish side.

1995 - First ever Heineken European Cup match: Toulouse travel to Romania and beat Farul Constanta 54-10.

2007 - 35 years to the day of his finest hour for his beloved Llanelli club, Ray Gravell dies suddenly on holiday in Spain. Wales mourns the passing of a favourite son and his club later gives him a "state" funeral.

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