This week in history

Date published: April 16 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_50995511

We turn back the clock to have a look at some of the famous rugby happenings from this week in history.

April 13

1983: The birth of Stormers and Springbok star Schalk Burger. Now 32 and looking back to somewhere near his best form after a tough period that saw him suffer injuries and bacterial meningitis, he is a fan favourite in Cape Town and South Africa and respected worldwide.

2002: Worrying times such as these have fortunately passed for Bath, as on this day in 2002 they beat relegation rivals Leeds 23-12.

2003: Munster got the better of Leicester in the quarter-finals of the European Cup to book their place in the last four where they would eventually come unstuck against Toulouse. The 20-7 win at Welford Road though was special, with Jim Williams the star man for Munster.


April 14

1991: USA became the Women's World Cup winners at the unofficial tournament, which climaxed in Cardiff, Wales. After overcoming the Netherlands, USSR and New Zealand in the twelve-team tournament, the Americans then beat England 19-6 to be crowned champions of the world.

1962: A fourth-straight Five Nations title was claimed by an impressive France side, who won three of their four fixtures. Les Bleus' only loss came in the form of a 0-3 negative in Wales as they beat Scotland, England and finally Ireland to claim the Championship in Paris.


April 15

2005: With the expanded Super 14 on the horizon, SARU announced its five franchises; the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs and Lions.

2009: It was a world record crowd for a club fixture in Paris as Clermont edged Stade Français 21-19. A remarkable 79,842 supporters packed out the Stade de France on April 4, but that record was short-lived as a month later 82,208 saw Leinster beat Munster at Croke Park.

2012: Remember the drunken antics of England and the infamous dwarf throwing? Well on this day three years ago, Mike Tindall revealed: "I won't be the last person to get pissed and then realise it wasn't a great idea to drink so much." A forgetful RWC in more ways than one.


April 16

2005: Bath and Leeds again but this time it was the Yorkshiremen who were smiling as they won 20-12 at Twickenham to get their hands on the Powergen Cup. It sparked a late-season revival from the then Tykes, who won five Premiership matches on the spin to avoid relegation.

2008: Not the RFU's finest hour as England head coach Brian Ashton was given the not-so-tempting carrot of returning to his old role of national academy boss to make way for Martin Johnson to come in as team manager. Ashton, who had only been re-appointed four months ago, had helped England to a World Cup final in 2007 before finishing second in 2008's Six Nations. However England's rugby bosses wanted Johnno.


April 17

1927: History was made at Stade Colombes near Paris as France faced Germany in a Test match for the first time. Les Bleus won 30-5.

1978: One of Scottish rugby's best defenders was born on this day. Jason White was renowned for his hard-hitting for both club and country with whom he won 77 caps. White starred for Sale and Clermont and was Scotland Player of the Season for 2005/06 before scooping the Premiership Player's Player of the Year Award in 2006. In the same year White was included in the New Zealand Herald's World XV of the year.

2003: The Pacific Islanders concept got the green light from the International Rugby Board. The team, made up of players from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, beat the Queensland Reds 48-29 in their first match on June 20, 2004, with Sitiveni Sivivatu scoring a hat-trick. They went on to face Australia (14-29), New Zealand (26-41) and South Africa (24-38) in 2004 but the alliance ended in 2009 as the Samoan Rugby Union chairman Peter Schuster said that the IRB changing the schedule of games from two to four years wouldn't generate the revenue they required.


April 18

1970: England suffered their heaviest defeat to date as they went down 35-13 away to France. They had fought back from 19-0 down to make it 19-13 but then Les Bleus clicked into gear once again to run in a further three scores as the English went home a well-beaten side.

2005: The British and Irish Lions – and lots of them – met in Wales for the first time. As we all remember, it didn't go to the detailed pre-tour plan in New Zealand as the All Blacks ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in the series.

2011: He may not remember it too well but we do as Andy Powell was banned alongside Tim Payne by then club side Wasps after a fight broke out in a bar in London with supporters of soccer team Queens Park Rangers. Powell needed ten stitches after being hit by a bar stool.

COMMENTS