This week in history

Date published: April 23 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 20

1930: France – once again – fall short of their first Five Nations Championship title, going down 11-0 in Cardiff despite Wales fielding a second-string XV due to seven of their players being on a ship bound for the Lions tour to New Zealand. England are crowned champions as a result.

2002: London Irish win their first major trophy, upsetting Northampton 38-7 in the final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup (know as the Powergen Cup) at Twickenham.


April 21

1919: Wales are beaten for the first time by a New Zealand representative side as a New Zealand Army XV wins 6-3 in Swansea. Wales have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953.

1979: Leicester win the Anglo-Welsh Cup (known as the John Player Cup) after edging Moseley 15-12 in a tight final at Twickenham thanks to a late try from Steve Kenney.

2009: Paul O'Connell becomes the tenth Irishman to captain the British & Irish Lions as he is named skipper for their tour to South Africa ahead of his national team captain, Brian O'Driscoll.


April 22

1971: South African prime minister John Vorster announces his government will allow visiting sides – including the following year's Lions tour – to play against "mixed and coloured" teams. Strict Apartheid laws will continue to be enforced in the stands though as spectators at those games would be limited to the same racial group as the local team on the field.

1992: Olivier Roumat kicks All Blacks skipper Sean Fitzpatrick during a ruck in the second Test of the NZRU's Centenary celebration series against the World XV. The French lock is handed a four-week ban by the IRB which is later increased to six months by then-FRR president, Bernard Lapasset. New Zealand go on to win the series 2-1.


April 23

1960: Protesters in New Zealand disrupt an All Blacks trail match in Wellington after the NZ board agrees to a request from South Africa's Apartheid regime to not include any Maori players in their upcoming tour.

1986: A year after a planned All Blacks series is cancelled, the New Zealand Cavaliers kick off their controversial tour of South Africa with a 22-21 win over the Junior Springboks in Johannesburg. Reports emerge later of huge payments made to players despite rugby union's amateur status.


April 24

1957: The Barbarians embark on their first overseas tour as they board a flight from London on a six-game tour of Canada.

1994: England win the second edition of the Women's World Cup, beating the USA 38-23 in Edinburgh in a rematch of the previous final.

2010: An embarrassing day for Worcester as not only is their relegation sealed by a 12-10 loss to Leeds but a scuffle after the final whistle leaves flankers James Collins and Chris Cracknell in hot water. Cracknell is suspended after dragging Collins' father over the barriers as a fight in the stands between the players' parents spills over onto the pitch. Collins is also cited for swearing at Cracknell's father. The incident ends both players' stay at the club.


April 25

1981: Dusty Hare sets a new benchmark for first-class career points as he contributes 12 points in Leicester's 26-13 win over Moseley, surpassing Sam Doble's record of 3651. Hare goes on to finish his career with a record of 7337 points.

1991: England hooker Brian Moore narrowly escapes jail time after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm in a pub brawl in Nottingham.

1992: Bath completed a rare League/Cup double as they beat Saracens 32-12 in the final game of the Premiership (known as the Courage League) season.


April 26

1980: Legendary Springbok fly-half Naas Botha makes his debut for South Africa against the South American Jaguars, aged just 22. The match carries full Test status with Botha contributing 12 points as the hosts win 24-9 in Johannesburg.

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