This week in history

Date published: April 10 2015

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

April 6

1965: Despite being dominated for most of the game, a 'Combined Irish Universities Past & Present' side makes history by becoming the first Irish team to beat the Springboks, winning 12-10 at Thomond Park.

2002: Iconic rugby commentator Bill McLaren calls his final game for the BBC as his beloved Scotland beat Wales 27-22 in Cardiff. The 77-year-old is greeted by a chorus of "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" from the Welsh crowd. Full-time in McLaren's colourful life would come in 2010.

2002: France thump Ireland 44-5 to complete the first Six Nations Grand Slam as fly-half Gérald Merceron scores 16 points while Serge Betsen and Nicolas Brusque score two tries each and Aurélien Rougerie adds a fifth.

2009: Australian rugby mourns the death of Brumbies forward Shawn Mackay, who passes away in a Durban hospital aged just 26 after being hit by a car following his team's Super Rugby clash with the Sharks.


April 7

1973: Keith Fielding's 80-metre intercept try helps England beat Ireland in the International Seven-A-Side Tournament. A pre-cursor to the Sevens World Cup, England were hailed as world seven-a-side champions at Murrayfield.

2000: Ireland boss Warren Gatland signs a new two-year deal with the IRFU, only to be out of a job a year later and replaced by his assistant coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

2001: England hammer France 48-19 in a Six Nations disrupted by the Foot and Mouth outbreak. Jonny Wilkinson breaks Rob Andrew's record to become the highest points scorer in England history, chipping in with 18 points to overhaul Andrew's 396 Test points.


April 8

2001: Wales scrum-half Gareth Cooper celebrates his international debut with a try after just seven minutes as Wales beat Italy 33-23 in Rome.


April 9

1928: Robert Houdet scores two tries as France beat Wales for the first time in their history, 8-3 at Colombes. It was their only victory of the Five Nations with England completing the Grand Slam.

1960: Pierre Albaladejo's three drop goals set a new record for a Five Nations match as France hammer Ireland 23-6 in Paris. The win is enough for them to claim the Championship as co-winners with England, the two teams having drawn their match earlier in the tournament.

1994: Bath make it four straight league titles, clinching the Courage League, as it was then known, with a 14-6 win over Leicester. They lost just one game all season, the reverse fixture against the Tigers.


April 10

1955: French legend Jean Prat bows out of Test rugby a fortnight after helping France to the Five Nations title. "Mr Rugby", as he was better known, had previously been part of the first French team to win at Twickenham and to beat the All Blacks, scoring the only try in a 3-0 win.

1965: Ireland beat South Africa for the first time, 9-6, thanks to a late penalty from Tom Kiernan in Dublin. It's a feat they will not repeat until 2004 but they have won four of the last six games between the teams.

1999: Gregor Townsend completes a personal grand slam of tries as Scotland stun France 36-22 in Paris. A crazy game sees the Scots lead 33-22 at the break, but after 55 first-half points, David Aucagne's penalty is the only score of the second. It leaves Scotland needing a Welsh win at Wembley the following day to claim the last-ever Five Nations.


April 11

1892: The Barbarians take on Corinthians in the first rugby v soccer match under union rules in Kensington. The footballers emerged victorious, winning 14-12.

1987: A competitive women's match takes place at Twickenham for the very first time as Wasps beat Richmond Ladies to claim the national championship title.

1999: As Scots wait with bated breath, Scott Gibbs scores one of the most famous tries in Five Nations history, sidestepping through the English defence in the last minute to take Wales to within a point of the Red Rose. Neil Jenkins duly converts to hand Wales a 32-31 win at Wembley, while Scotland celebrate the final Five Nations title on points difference.


April 12

1884: Cardiff plays host to Test rugby for the very first time as Ireland came to in town. 5,000 people are on hand to witness Wales' victory at the Arms Park.

1969: Staying in Cardiff, Wales beat Ireland to the Five Nations title with a thumping 30-9 win over England. Maurice Richards is the star of the show for the Welsh, running in four tries. It would be his last international on home soil before switching to rugby league the following season.

2009: Leinster edge out Harlequins 6-5 in a game that would be remembered as the 'Bloodgate' match. Trailing by a point in the closing minutes, 'Quins bring off winger Tom Williams with a bleeding mouth, to send Nick Evans back on. It turns out that Williams had used a fake blood capsule to feign injury. He is given a four-month ban, while director of rugby Dean Richards is banned for three years.

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