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Featured Item : January 2014
A rare postcard from the South Africa 1906 UK, Ireland and France tour.
This was the inaugural South Africa tour and is recognised as the event that coined the phrase Springboks as a nickname for the South African team.
The tour was extremely successful for the South Africans which helped garner respect from the Northern Hemisphere teams and established South Africa as a formidable rugby playing country. In the tests played the team would only lose to Scotland and drew against England. The South African defeat of Wales was a shock to many critics and ended the international careers of some of the greatest Welsh players of the time. Out of 29 matches played, South Africa won 26, lost two and drew one.
Featured Item : January 2014
A rare photograph from the All Blacks vs Devonport Albion in 1905, the Albion were unbeaten for two years at home going into this game. NZ were lucky to be 5-0 ahead at half time, however the second half told another story. The All Blacks switched to a more open game and pulled away to a 21-3 victory. Perhaps due to the reputed 12 foot slope, attendance was 19,000. On a personal note I have just realised I played on ground the 1905 All Blacks played on :), from memory the changing rooms remain historically intact..
PS : This item is currently on sale on Ebay for £300
PPS : For more details refer to the excellent "All Blacks in Britain and Ireland" by members Fox, Boggle and Hoskins
Featured Item : December 2013
A rare copy of the coaching book Gwyn Nicholls published after retiring from the game. Gwyn was a Welsh rugby union player who gained 24 caps for Wales as a centre. Nicholls was known as the "Prince of Threequarters". Nicholls started his rugby career with Cardiff Star, before playing in the Cardiff first team from 1893. He spent all his playing career with Cardiff, playing 18 seasons for them, apart from half a season with Newport in 1901/2 when he began a laundry business there with fellow Welsh international Bert Winfield. He captained Cardiff for four seasons; 1898/9 through to 1900/1 and again in 1903/04.
Nicholls gained his first international cap against Scotland on 25 January 1896. His 24 caps for Wales were won between 1896 and 1906 and included ten matches as captain. He was captain of the Triple Crown winning side of 1902. Despite announcing his retirement from international rugby at the end of the previous season, he returned to captain Wales in the famous 1905 victory against New Zealand. He toured Australia with the British Isles team of 1899, and was the only Welsh player on this tour.
The 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia was a rugby union tour of Australia by the British and Irish Lions during June and July 2013. The Lions and Australia contested a three-test series, with the Lions winning 21. The first test was won by the Lions 2321, the second by Australia 1615, and the final test by the Lions 4116. The victory was the Lions' first test series win since defeating South Africa in 1997.
The Lions also played against the five Australian Super Rugby sides, a Combined New South WalesQueensland Country team, and against the Barbarians in Hong Kong. Aside from the second test, the Lions' only loss was 1412 to the Brumbies in Canberra.
The Lions made six changes to their starting team. Tour captain Sam Warburton and 2009 captain Paul O'Connell were both injured. Pre-game controversy focused on the decision of the Lions coaches to drop experienced centre Brian O'Driscoll, who had been widely expected to take over the captaincy,in favour of the Welsh combination of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies. The Lions' starting team included 10 Welshmen in all. Australia were unchanged except for the selection of George Smith, returning from international retirement, at openside flanker.
Australia gave away possession at the kick-off, and Alex Corbisiero scored
an early try for the Lions. The Lions extended this lead through four
penalties from Leigh Halfpenny.The Wallabies conceded several penalties,
as well as a sin-binning, at the scrum, although in the period either
side of half-time, they recovered to trail only 1916.The Lions,
however, scored three further tries to win 4116, thus recording
the most points by a Lions side in a test match
A 1950 Lions players badge, thankfully an ongoing tradition for Lions tourists (although the date stamp seems to have been dropped from recent tours which a shame for collectors). The British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand and Australia in 1950 was the first post-war tour made by the Lions; there had not been one since 1938. The 1950 team was the first to be nicknamed "the British Lions", rather than just "British Isles" and sported newly redesigned jerseys and a fresh style of play, managing to win 22 and draw one of 29 matches over the two nations. The Lions won the opening four fixtures before losing to Otago and Southland, but succeeded in holding the All Blacks to a nine-all draw. The Lions performed well in the remaining All Black tests though they lost all three, the team did not lose another non-test in the New Zealand leg of the tour. The Lions won all their games in Australia except for their final fixture against a New South Wales XV in Newcastle. They won both of the two tests against Australia, in Brisbane and in Sydney.
Because the team was travelling by boat, rather than by air, as modern tours do, they also stopped off in Ceylon to play an unofficial game against the national team.
Rare programme from the second tour game for the British Lions in South Africa 1974, the game was played in Windhoek in front of 12,000 spectators. The SWA team played like their lives depended on it, on the baked earth pitch. The Lions lead 9-10 at half time, the second half was a tense affair as the teams traded scores. At one pint the SWA team took a16-14 lead to drive the crowd wild with excitement, however after a late score the Lions ended victorious 16-23.
Early post card of Rhys Gabe in his Welsh shirt, he played club rugby for Llanelli, London Welsh and Cardiff and gained 24 caps for Wales, mainly as a centre. Gabe started his rugby career with Llangennech before making his debut with Llanelli at the age of seventeen. In 1901 he moved to London to study at Borough Road Training College and joined London Welsh, where he was moved to centre. After qualifying as a mathematics teacher, he took a teaching post in Cardiff and joined the Cardiff club, where he formed a devastating centre combination with Gwyn Nicholls for both club and country. He played for Cardiff between 190203 and 190910, captaining the club in the 1907-08 season. He scored 51 tries for Cardiff in 115 appearances.
Gabe won his first cap for Wales against Ireland in 1901, playing on the left wing. His 24 caps for Wales included the famous 1905 victory against New Zealand, and he captained Wales in the 1907 match against Ireland. He toured Australasia with the British Isles team of 1904. He played in all four test matches, including the three victories over Australia.
His most remarkable try was probably one scored against England at Bristol in 1908. The match was played in thick fog, and Gabe and his team mate Percy Bush found a loose ball outside England's 25. Gabe won the tussle for the ball and set off in the direction of the line, while Bush ran off in the opposite direction to confuse the opposition. Eventually the referee and the other players arrived at the line to find Gabe waiting with the ball.
Gabe retired in 1908, but still appeared occasionally for Cardiff. He was a fine club cricketer and played occasionally for Glamorgan. He also captained Radyr Golf Club, and played at Cardiff Golf Club well into his eighties. He died in Cardiff in 1967
Official souvenir programme form the Natal v British Lions game in 1997,
a stylish performance from the tourists got their 'Saturday' campaign
back on track following a defeat to Northern Transvaal the week before.
Tries from Gregor Townsend, Mike Catt and Lawrence Dallaglio, plus 24
points from the relentless boot of Neil Jenkins was enough to see off
the host team. However a nasty shoulder injury to popular tourist and
Test certainty Robert Howley ensured this was a memorable game for the
Natal 12 - British and Irish Lions 42
Official souvenir programme issued by the Rugby Football Union for the tribute match to Rowland Hill between the combined XVs of England & Wales against the same of Scotland & Ireland. Rowland Hill (1855-1928) was President of the RFU between 1904 and 1907 and the main force behind the decision to split Rugby Football into two codes, Union and League. In 1926 he became the first man to be knighted for services to the game. The main gate at the RFU headquarters at Twickenham is named after him.
A programe from the recent Wales tour to Australia in 2012, Wales v Brumbies. Wales clung on to clinch a nail-biting 25-15 victory over Brumbies in their tour match at Canberra Stadium. James Hook, Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones all crossed for tries in the first half to give the Wales second string line-up a 19-6 lead. However the boot of Zack Holmes kept their Super Rugby hosts in touch - with the Brumbies cutting the deficit to just four points at one stage, while they were guilty of butchering a golden chance to score a try. Wales lost the test series 3-0
A rare Blackheath RFC fixture card from 1891-92 season. Blackheath is a rugby football club based in Blackheath in south-east London. It was founded in 1858 and is the oldest open rugby club in the world. "Open" in this context means that membership was open to anyone, not merely those attending, or old boys from, a particular institution (e.g. a school, university or hospital). It is also the third-oldest rugby club in continuous existence in the world, after Dublin University Football Club and Edinburgh Academical Football Club. The Blackheath club also helped organise the world's first rugby international (between England and Scotland in Edinburgh on 27 March 1871) and hosted the first international between England and Wales ten years later the players meeting and getting changed at the Princess of Wales public house. Blackheath, along with Civil Service FC, is one of the two clubs that can claim to be a founder member of both the Football Association and the Rugby Football Union.
A rare menu from the France vs England game played in 1952, The game was played at Stade Colombes and England won the game 3-6, scoring two penalties to France's sole try by M. Pomathios. England finished up runners up in the championship after two seasons at the bottom.
A rare postcard depicting the South Africa defeat of Wales in 1906 in Swansea. South Africa won the game 11-0, it was rated the poorest Welsh display for several years. Despite several named stars, it was the last time Percy Bush and Dicky Owen were paired at half back, it was also the final Wales game for Welsh legend Gwyn Nicholls. Nicholls would later play in the 17-0 victory playing for Cardiff.
South Africa dominated up front with their captain Paul Roos leading the charge.
A first Grand Slam season for England, wining their final game 3-0 at Twickenham. This season started a golden era in Englisg rugby whch ran till the mid twenties. Among the starts of the team where C.N Lowe and Welsh born W.J.A Davies two backs whose contribution to English rugby was unsupassed in this era. Scan courtesy of www.rugbyrelics.com
C.N.Lowe appeared on this JOHN PLAYER 1926 Footballers Caricatures card.
The Original All Blacks (also known simply as "The Originals") were the first New Zealand national rugby union team to tour outside Australasia. They toured the British Isles, France and the United States of America during 19051906. Their opening game was against Devon on 16 September 1905 whom they defeated 554. Such was the surprise that some newspapers in Britain printed that Devon had scored 55 points and not the All Blacks. They went on to defeat every English side that they faced, including a 163 victory over English county champions Durham, and a 320 victory over Blackheath. They defeated Scotland, Ireland and England with the closest of the three matches their 127 victory over Scotland. The teams only loss of the tour was a 30 defeat to Wales at Cardiff Arms Park. The loss was highly controversial after the referee denied a try to All Blacks wing Bob Deans. They went on to defeat all their remaining Welsh opponents and to play France in France's first ever Test match. They returned to New Zealand via North America where they played two matches against Canadian teams. Overall they played a total of thirty-five matches, which included five Tests, and only lost oncethe defeat to Wales.
The dinner menu form the game between France v England 1966. France were handsome winner in this game playing open rugby with flair and pace, the score ended 13-0. However there were four English inguries with Horton and Rogers almost imobile. The Boniface brothers from Mont-de-Marsan won their 34th and 47th caps. Guy played 18 Tests with his brother André Boniface including one Test against New Zealand in which the All Blacks had two sets of brothers playing. He helped France with the Five Nations in 1959 - their first outright Championship victory. In 1968 - whilst returning home from a club match - he was killed in a traffic accident. Image courtesy of Dai Richards (rugbyrelics.com)
The dinner menu form the Ireland v South Africa game played in 1906. An exciting match narrowly lost in Belfast. Ireland trailed badly at half time 3-12, but a second half fight back resulted in a final score of 12-15. MaClear a Cork solider scored a memorable try, he gathered the ball in his own half and scored a length of the pitch try. McClear who was born in Portsmouth would later die in the second battle of Ypres in May 1915 in World War One.
A programme from the imfamous tour to New Zealand in 1981. In the tour opener at Gisborne, anti-tour protestors had managed to break through a perimeter fence but were prevented from occupying the field and forced the cancelation of the match.
Three days later, Rugby Park in Hamilton was packed as the Ranfurly Shield holders prepared to take on the Springboks. A total of 535 police officers were present in the city. With disrupting matches seen as a cornerstone of any protest action, the Waikato Rugby Union had taken extra precautions to prevent a possible pitch invasion.
The protest planners had also been busy buying tickets for the game over 200 were purchased to ensure protestors could make their presence known from within the ground. As it was a weekend game, it was possible to get more people to the planned protest action, and around 5000 gathered at Garden Place to march on Rugby Park. Plans were in place to tear down perimeter fencing and flood the pitch with protestors. This was achieved shortly before kick-off and approximately 350 protestors invaded the pitch.
A postcard from the JMS series, published in approx 1904 depicting a Cardiff rugby player, the artist J.M.S refers to J. M. Staniforth a popular cartoonist of the time. The series includes Wales, Pen-y-Graig (a top team at the time, who would go on to play the 1908 Australian tourists), Newport and Swansea. There are rumours of an Aberavon card and no Llanelli ?? ... if you know better get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
The rare and very flimsy programme from the game between France and Wales 1949. Wales lost the game 5-3 and ended up with a wooden spoon. It was the last game for pre-war stalwarts Haydn Tanner and "Bunner" Travers. The "French Buffalo" Jean Lassegue scored the try that Alvarez converetd to win the game, despite Wales leading at half time with a Ken Jones try.
A fantastic postcard from the 1905 NZ tour to the UK. New Zealands 190506 tour to the United Kingdom, France and North America might be considered the most important in New Zealand rugby history. The team played 35 matches in total, losing just once. In the United Kingdom especially, the teams largely confident, attractive and comfortable wins made a strong statement about the quality of rugby in the colonies and New Zealand in particular. Moreover, the 190506 tour gave rise to the famous All Blacks moniker, as the fame surrounding the black-clad team spread. Nowadays, this team is known as the Originals and the first to be known as All Blacks (c) wikipedia
Boland v British Lions from the 1974 Lions Tour to SA. In what was the third game of the tour, played in front of 21,000 the Lion s won 33-6. The game was played in intense heat, as the game tailed a punch up between front rows subsided abd gordon Brown gathered a high kick 40 yards out and went charging for the line, with Willi John McBride in support, when Brown was tackled he slipped the ball to McBride who crashed over for a try.
The recently published 1955 Lions tour diary of Hugh McLeod OBE. Hugh a Scottish prop toured twice with the Lions in 1955 (13 games) and in the 1959 tour (19 games(19). His diary has recently been published by Blurb ( A preview can be found here http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2076311).
An unique recollection of the events with photographs, tour programmes and memorabilia. A piece of both social and sporting history from over 50 years ago. This collectors item book running to 160 pages in full colour throughout.
We have arranged a special deal for member of the RMS - you will either
receive details via mail or post soon. A kind donation will be provided
to the society on every RMS sale also.
A touch flag from the infamous game between Wales and New Zealand in Cardiff 1978. An experimental Wales side without Bennett, Edwards, Gerald Davies and Cobner lost 12-13, however the game hinged on a penalty generated by a pre-arranged training move to dupe the referee, when Andy Hayden lept from the lineout as if shot by a sniper in the North Stand. The referee awarded a penalty against the hapless Geoff Wheel to deny Wales a victory. This was the first team to complete a Grand Slam against the home nations, only a famous victory at Munster avoided the clean sweep.
A programme from the 1970 tour to England by Fiji after which they continued the tour in NZ (results can be found here http://www.fijirugby.com). Fiji won this game 24-14. On the bench that day for the Midland counties was a very young WH Hare (aka Dusty) aged just 17, he started his first class career at Nottingham between 71-76 before having a fantastic spell at Leicester between 76-89, Hare currently holds the world record for points scored in a first class rugby career with 7,337 points. He gained 25 England caps and went on the 1983 Lions tour, he has recently moved to Northhampton Saints as a talent scout.
A reproduction postcard advertising travel to the 1935 England v New Zealand game and the prior London Counties game. The game is known as the "Obolensky" game, he scored two tries on his England debut in a 13-0 victory over the All Blacks, the first time England had beaten New Zealand. Aided by Pathé News footage of the game, his name has entered into legend, since the first try, beating several All Blacks in a run of three-quarters of the length of the field, was widely regarded as the greatest try of the time, and one of the greatest tries ever scored by England.
Some fabulous footage of the game can be found on Youtube ....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wjb8eO0bJ3U
The 1955 Lions third Test programme, played at Loftus Versfeld on the 3rd September 1955. The team contained Russell Robbins (moved to No 8) who recently enchanted us at the AGM and our President Cliff Morgan (capt). At this stage the Lions were 1:1 in the test series, playing some memorable rugby. Danie Craven had become so paranoid of the British press spying, the South African team trained under moonlight. A fantastic performance from the Liosn front row and a game with 63 lineouts ! ... the Lions won 9:6
Very rare Wales v Egypt at Alexandria 1945 programme. The Egypt team were made up of other service men so it was a "Rest of the World" XV predominantly made up of NZ and SA players. The game was won 6-0 (pencil on the programme). Wales had played England and South Africa at the El Alamein club and Les Manfield (DFC)captained Wales for the three games. Les was "capped" for Wales 7 times, two Red Cross internationals in 39-40, two service internationals in 42 and eight Victory internationals in 45-46 and played for UCC, Welsh Secondary Schools, UAU, Mountain Ash, Cardiff, Penarth, London Welsh, Otley, Neath, Bridgend, RAF, Combined services, Barbarians and Yorkshire !!!. Les passed away at the age of 90 in 2006, this wonderful obituaries appeared in the Telegraph.
The menu from the France vs Wales game in 1963. Another fantastcic menu from France at home in the 60's - depicting two players being chased by an Ostrich with a leek in its mouth !!?? ... well it was the 1960's. The game was won by France 5-3 in front of a small crowd of 35,000 at Stade Colombes, the sole French try was scored by Guy Boniface. Guy played 35 times for France including 18 games with his brother Andre. He was killed in 1968 returning from a gameat the early age of 31.
A rare postcard from the 1906 South Africa tour to the UK and France. Paul Roos was the captain of the first South African team to tour the British Isles and France. The team was largely dominated by players from Western Province, and took place over 190607. The team played 29 matches; including Tests against all four Home Nations. England managed a draw, but Scotland was the only one of the Home unions to gain a victory.
During this tour the nickname Springboks was first used. There is often
confusion as to the springbok symbol being worn before the name was invented,
but this may be down to the fact the tour manager, J.C. Carden, spoke
of having no 'uniforms or blazers' with the icon, though he did not appear
to mean the jerseys. It was reported in the Daily Mail on the 20 September
1906, seven days before the first match, that 'The team's colours will
be myrtle green with gold collar... and will have embroidered in mouse-coloured
silk on the left breast a Springbok'
A programme from the Welsh Secondary Schools game played against Yorkshire in 1949 at the Newport Athletic Ground. The Welsh team contained 4 internationals. Cliff Morgan our President representing Tonyrefail Secondary school (29 Wales and 4 (55) Lion caps), Bryn Meredith representing West Mon Grammar School(34 caps and 12 (55/59/62) Caps, Russell Robins representing Pontypridd County School (13 caps and 4 (55) Lions caps) and Glyndwr John representing Garw County School (2 caps). Glyndwr played against E54 and F54, strangely he joined Leigh RLFC as a schoolboy but was granted a reinstatement by the WRU after he paid back his sign on fee !
This month a book, a very sought after and scarce edition of 100 Years of Rugby Football in Sri Lanka 1879-1978. This remarkable history is a 207 page hard back, charting the history, games, personalities of Sri Lankan rugby. The book covers all the tourists to Sri Lanka (aka Ceylon) from the 1907 All Blacks (won 33-6) to Dulwich College in 1978 (61-0). There is a clear record of the 1930 British Lions game having been played, at the Race Course on the 1st October, captained by T.L Farrell.(45-0). The book contains a team photograph of both teams. The standard texts on the British Lions 1930 tour do not mention this game.
The programme from the game between the British Lions and Taranaki from the 1930 tour, played in New Plymouth NZ. Taranaki had drawn with the 1921 Springboks and had beaten the Anglo-Welsh team of 1908 5-0, there was anticipation of another famous victory. Despite a strong first half showing by Taranaki the Lions won the game 23-7. The game is remembered for the after dinner speaches where Baxter continued his campaign against wing forwards, he claimed that " the ordinary man who tried to play in the position was nothing more or less a cheat " ...The Lions spent the following day playing in the snow om Mt Egmont.
A postcard depicting the 1904 British Lions team. The 1904 British Isles tour to New Zealand and Australia was the sixth tour by a British Isles team and the fourth to New Zealand and Australia. It is retrospectively classed as one of the British Lions tours, as the Lions naming convention was not adopted until 1950.
Led by David Bedell-Sivright and managed by Arthur O'Brien the tour took in 19 matches, 14 in Australia and 5 in New Zealand. Of the games four were test matches, three played against Australia national rugby union team and one against the New Zealand All Blacks. The Lions won all three Australia tests but lost the All Blacks' game.
This was the first time that a British team would take in both Australia and New Zealand in the same tour and would become a Lions tradition up until 1971. The team captain, Bedell-Sivright, a veteran of the 1903 tour of South Africa, was requested to lead the team by the England Rugby Board. Bedell-Sivright broke his leg in the opening match of the New Zealand section of the tour and Teddy Morgan took over the captaincy.
Brian Price's France v Wales 69 programme (Lot 2.15). Wales were unlucky to draw the game 9-9, Stuart Watkins had a try disallowed for having a foot in touch, Barry John missed a drop goal in front of the posts and Keith Jarrett missed a penalty. Wales had not won in Paris since 1957, despite a fine solo try from Gareth Edwards. The game is noted for the appearance of Phil Bennett as the first man to win a Welsh cap as a replacement, however he never touched the ball !
The very sought after and scarce Lions v Queensland 71 programme - This was the first game in what was going to be the first really successful tour for the Lions. In this 26 game tour only 2 games were lost, the 2nd Test vs NZ and this game. The game was played in front of a record 9000 crowd in Brisbane, who witnessed a shock 15-11 victory
The Brian Price's programme from the NSW Country game, from the 1966 Lions tour. This was a very hard tour game, the first incident involved Ken Jones being punched long after the ball had gone, the NSW forwards gave a strong showing up front. In the second half heavy rain sent the 8,519 crowd for shelter, the Lions won 6-3.
A menu card from the Ireland v Wales game 1964. Ireland led the game 6-5 until the last 10 minutes when Welsh break out snatched victory. David Watkins was in electric form, exhibiting devestating speed off the mark . Terry Price was also in fine kicking form Wales won the game 15-6 with tries from S.Watkins, D.Watkins and John Dawes who was making his debut. For Ireland Fergus Keogh kicked two goals.
This item originally belonged to Brian Price the Welsh second row, and is now available via the RMS auction.
An "In loving Memory" card printed in Cardiff in 1908 to celebrate the Glamorgan victory over the touring Wallaby's. These cards were very popular in Edwardian times, especially if there had been a Wales or Welsh oriented victory ! ...however this card may have been printed in anticipation as Australia beat Glamorgan County 16-3 ...
Rare programe from the Lions tour to Australia and NZ in 1966. This game against Western Australia was the first game of the tour, and was played in front of a crowd of 4,000. The Lions were initially disjointed after the travel and a bug that had rampaged through the tour party. However the tourists won the game 60-3. This programe belonged to a team mermber that day, more on that for members later this summer ...we hope to be in a position to auction this item and several others laster this year.
One from the RMS archives this month, the first edition of Touchlines, created by Dave Fox. This edition was created in March 1996, with the very rare France v New Zealand programme 1924 on the cover ( .. a few years ago they only copy I have seen, sold at auction for approx ~ £2000).
Amongst other articles this edition contained a copy of the Cornwall v SA 1912 programme, and JC Rich All Blacks Souvenir .. this rare item was claimed to be worth in excess of £20 ! ..
I often think about where I would go if I had a time travelling capsule, maybe to see the Pyramids being built ? .. or perhaps the to stand on the decks of HMS Victory in full battle ??... NO ... Phillips auctions house Cardiff circa early 1990's :)
This programe covers the 1930 Lions tour match against Otago. This game was played on the Saturday prior to the first Test, and 17000 watched a full strength Lions team take on an Otago team at Carisbrook. In their best performance to date the Lions were victors 33 -9. Reeve the powerful Harlequins wing scored 3 tries and Ivor Jones a pair.
A menu from the game between France and Wales in 1967. A fantastic performance from French fly half Guy Camberabero provided a 20-24 vctory for the French. The fly half scoring a try, conversion, a penalty and two drop goals. It would be the first time Wales had lost 4 games on the trot since 1924. However it was the game Gareth Edwards made his debut and the last game Terry Price ( missed six from nice goal attempts) played for Wales before moving North to join Bradford Northern for £10,000 .. something on his mind no doubt ! ....
As we finish the Autumn international series in the UK, where a SA tour to the UK has included 2 club games ! ...we think back to days of yore. In 1963 New Zealand toured Britain, France, Ireland and Canada and played 36 games. Wining an incredible 34, losing one and drawing one game. The tour started against Oxford University on the 23rd October and finished in British Columbia on February the 24th. Their only loss was against Newport in 1963 3-0 (those of you who were lucky enough to attend the AGM a few years ago would have heard Brain Price talk about the ferocity of this game) ... they game they drew ? .... Scotland in an epic 0-0. It was common place for the tourists to have a tour Christmas card, an occasional find at an auction if your lucky.
As we approach the 40th anniversary of this game, here we have the programe from the famous victory by Newport over the 1969 Springboks. This was the first defeat of a SA team in Wales since 1912 at Swansea. Newport had only one capped player Billy Reybould and Keith Jarrett had left for league two months earlier. As club they had their worse season since 1938-39 and were seen as clear underdogs. A large police presence kept order as anti-apartheid demonstrators tried to interrupt the game, however 22,000 supporters saw Newport run out 11- 6 victors. Later in the tour there would be 77 arrested and 200 hurt at Swansea and a famous victory by Gwent at EbbwVale.
A postcard showing the Wales team that played England in the championship in 1914. Wales lost by a point 9-10 and England went on to win a Grand Slam in the last championship prior to WW1. The centre of the card shows the Welsh captain Rev Alban Davies (Llanelli, Swansea, Cardiff, London Welsh and Oxford university), who led the pack known as the "Terrible Eight". He later served as a chaplain in the Royal Field Artillery, he died in Los Angeles in 1976.
A programme from the 1950 British Lions tour to NZ. After a period of heavy rain the Lions beat the West Coast team 32 points to 3. After repeated attacks, spearheaded by the legendary Jack Kyle, both teams ended with 14 men. West Coast loosing Breeze early in the game and Henderson for the Lions after the recurrence of a knee injury. The local captain after the game said that he had prayed for rain "but rain or no rain, they were too goog for us today" he stated after the game.
In a month where we have seen the loss of the final British men who survived Word War 1, the following programme celebrates Lieut-Col Edgar R. Mobbs DSO who fell at Paasschendaele in 1917. Mobbs started his first class career with Northampton in 1905, and successfully captained the Midlands against the visiting Australians in 1908.
He later represented England against the touring Wallabies, but despite scoring England's only try was on the loosing side, 9-3. Despite being officially being to old to serve in WW1, Mobbs set up his own battalion of 264 men, and were known as the Mobbs Sportsman's Battalion. He was wounded 3 times, but finally fell in the third battle of Ypres 1917 after attacking a machine gun post, his body was never found.
This was the first game to celebrate Mobbs life and contribution to rugby (BB's won 19-14), the memorial game is still played today against a Bedford team.
The very rare 4th test programme from the British Lions tour to NZ and Australia 1930. At this stage of the tour the Lions had a number of injury problems and the New Zeland team had started to gel and gain ascendency. The game was played in Wellington in front of a crowd in excess of 40,000 people. The Lions included Bassett, Reeve, Bowcott, Aarvold and Ivor Jones among its team, the All Blacks containing the legendary Nepia and Porter. The power of the All Black forwards ensured a 22 - 8 victory. Despite the size of the crowd the programme is rarely seen, and comes in a number of different variants.
Menu from the New Zealand v Neath and Aberavon game 1935. Neath at the time were the previous seasons top club in Wales and were expected to give the All Blacks a stern challenge. However the team was less than sum of its parts, and despite plenty of possession the visitors won 13-3. The match its self was an ugly affair with constant fighting and a strongly partisan crowd. The following Saturday New Zealand would play Wales....
Rare programme from the first official French overseas tour - Argentina 1949. A party of 23 players played nine games, including two official tests. France won all the tour games and won both tests 5-0 and 12-3. Yves Bergougnan the tall and talented scrum half made the last of this 17 tests for France in the final game.
On the return journey to the UK, the Lions stopped off in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to play the final tour match of the 1950 Lions tour of New Zealand and Australia. The game was played at the Racecourse in Colombo, the local team comprised of executive staff from British companies, British armed forces and three local players. The Lions won 44-6
The image is from the very rare programme between Ceylon and the Lions ....
This programe is from the game played at Gosforth between NSW and the Northumberland and Durham selection. The 1927 NSW tour was later given full cap status by the ARU.
In front of a crowd of 12,000 NSW bea tthe home team 14 -9
Australia 2008 rugby tour to the UK.
Click on image ....
A rare menu for the game played between France and Wales in 1913 at Parc des Princess. A try in the closing minutes by Clem Lewis gave Wales a victory, however its claimed the ref played 17 mins of extra time ... perhaps Alan Lewis's grandfather ? ...The game marked the end of the career of Billy Trew who tore a groin, and after 29 caps never played again. The game was played with a ring of police, due to a riot after the Scotland game earlier that season, Scotland refused to play France in the following seasons championship. Wales won the game 11-8
The game also included Geo Andre (1T) on the wing for France, who would represent his country in the 1908 and 1924 Olympics. He was became a first world war fighter ace, and volunteered for action in WWII, sadly he was shot down over North Africa in May 1943, aged 54.
A early ticket for an Ireland v England game 1899. Louis Magee led Ireland to a triple crown, forming a partnership with halfback Allen. Magee landing a penalty and Allen scored a try, Ireland won the game 6-0. George Harman played in this Irish side, possibly the longest lived international, he was a doctor and died in Totnes, Devon in 1975 aged 101.
The game needs no introduction ... "the game" ... the official menu from the 1905 Wales v NZ game. Enough said really, the programme is rare, the menu is off the scale ... enjoy !
A postcard image of the 1908 Australian team while in Cardiff, enjoying the weather. The first time many had wintnessed snow before. The field was cleared for a 2:45 pm kick off, however the surface was a patchwork of straw and burnt offerings. With Percy Bush leading from outside half, even challenging the Australian War Cry by advancing with a Zulu shield and spear, a formidable Cardiff team were 24-8 victors. In the second half Burge for Australia was sent off for landing a knee in the groin of Westacott, which unsettled the visitors, its not clear on the long term effect on Westcacott. After the game the players dined at the Queens Hotel and spent the evening at the New Theatre, watching Cinderella ... perhaps a panto visit is on the cards for the 2008 Australian visitors ? ..
Rare programme from the 1st Test between Argentina and France in 1960. France toured Romania and Argentina (where they played 3 Tests, 12 games in total), the game against Romania was lost 5-11, however the subsequent games against Argentina were all won. This game was played on 23rd July in Buenos Aries, France wining 37-3. Pierre Dizabo played flyhalf for France after being first capped in 1948, his career having been interrupted by illness.
Baines cards, were produced by John Baines of Bradford and first printed in 1887. They were sold in packets of six, and children were encouraged to collect the cards and then swap for items of sporting equipment. The production of the cards peaked in the 1920's when 13.5 million cards were produced covering the full spectrum of sport in the UK. The reverse of the cards was used to publish letters from children thanking Baines for the delivery of sporting equipment, or requesting that children sent a letter or reason with their cards to compete for prizes. There are 1000's of different designs, for more information, follow the link's below.
Wales v England 1967
On April 8th 1967 a tall 18 year old, four months out of school played his first game at full back for Newport. His selection was at the request of the Welsh selectors who were desperate after four defeats in the Five Nations. His deubt was a disaster, he was switched to centre at half time. However one week later he was picked to play for Wales at full back, in what would become the most mecurial debut in world rugby. Keith Jarrett scored a try ...(and what a try, voted recently the 7th best by welsh rugby fans to have ever been scored by Wales .. see you tube link below), five convertions and two penaties. Wales won 34-21. This was the last game Keith played at this level at full back ! .. reverting to centre to gain a total of 10 caps.
Keith later went on the 1968 lions tour, but only featured in 5 games. He played for Wales on the tour to NZ and Australia in 1969, and on his return played two further games for Newport; before turning professional with Barrow for a fee of £12,000. He later moved to Wigan, however weeks after his transfer Keith suffered a serious brain haemorrhage and had to retire from the game.
We are very pleased to announce that Keith will be the guest speaker at the AGM in Newport this year,
Australia v South Africa 1956
Under the management of Dr D.Craven, 32 players took part in a 29 match tour of Australia and New Zealand. The programme is from the first test, played in Sydney. South Africa deafeating the Australians by 0-9. Cyril Burke played his last game for Australia in this game, after being capped 26 times.
Australia v England 1963
England were not at full strength, despite being 5 nations champions. The side was captained by Mike Weston (29 England caps and 6 British Lions caps 62/66), who were the first home nation to tour down under. Having lost two tests in NZ, England flew to a waterlogged Sydney. They were down by 12 points by half time, but staged a second half come back to score 3 tries. However Australia stood firm and won the game 19-8, their first victory over England since 1948.
1910 Wales v France Programme
As we approach the climax of the 2008 6N championship, Wales play France to decide who wins the championship/Grand Slam. Wales won their firrst Grand Slam in 1908, the first year France had participated in the competition. Two years later in this encounter, Wales won by a huge 49-14 margin. Jack Bancroft created a match record, by scoring 19 of the points on the day.
1947 Australian Tour to UK and Ireland
Australia were the first official touring visitors to the UK and Ireland after the Second World War. They arrived to a country still reeling from the effects of the war, with rationing and bomb damage still very much part of every day life. On August 27th the tourists arrived in Penzance where they stayed for three weeks. During this time the team practiced and attended several social events including boxing, cricket and bowls, culminating in a game against Cornwall and Devon on the 13th September which the visitors won 17-7.
During their stay in Penzance, the visitors met up with the Swansea team, who were on tour in the area. Both teams decided to train together one afternoon, which also led to the mysterious escape of a live baby wallaby which was brought as a mascot. This episode ended with 60 players chasing the creature through the streets and gardens of Penzance before its capture.
Below is a menu of a dinner given in Penzance for the team and souvenir of their stay, the later being signed by the touring party.
1908 Austalian Rugby Shirt
In 1908/09 an Australian team toured Great Britain and France under the auspices of the NSWRU. Accordingly, as a NSWRU representative team, the Wallabies wore the NSW sky blue jersey with a waratah badge. During the first tour the United Kingdom and America, the Wallabies won 32 of the 38 matches played. While in England, they competed in the 1908 London Olympics of 1908, winning the gold medal for Rugby Union. The Australians defeated Cornwall in the final, who were representing England. When the team returned home, eleven members of its members were enticed by the money offered to join the newly formed Rugby League.
Programme for France v Wales 1947
A very rare copy of the France v Wales programme from 1947. This was the first meeting of both teams since 1931, Bill Tamplin kicking a penalty just before half time to give Wales a 3-0 victory. Cliff Davies the Welsh prop had his finger bitten to the bone in what was a tough encounter. The game is remembered by Wales forward George Parsons being told to get off the train en route after the selectors had heard rumours that he had been negotiating with rugby league scouts, Parsons pleaded his innocence. Parsons was to play for Abertillery and Cross Keys against the visiting Australians in 1947 before joining RL club St Helens in eary 1948. parsons went on to play 12 times for the Wales RL team.
Serviette for the Ireland v Wales game 1905
A rare serviette from the game between Ireland and Wales, played in 1905 in Swansea. In what was a Triple Crown victory for Wales, running out victors 10 points to 3. In what was said to be a hard sporting match played against a strong wind, Windham Jones scored a try on his first and last appearance, and Teddy Morgan the second. Jones later donated his cap to Mountain Ash rugby club .. Can anyone confirm its still there?
The majority of the Welsh team would play against the visiting 1905 NZ
East Africa v Wales 1964
The Welsh team were victors in their first ever tour game 6 - 17, not surprising given the limited experience of the East Africa team. Although East Africa had had welcomed the 1962 Lions with Welshmen Haydn Morgan, Alun Pask and Ken Jones playing in this game. Welsh captain Clive Rowlands, dictated the patterns of play and orchestrated many of the fine Welsh moves. The Welsh tries were great efforts especially Dewi Bebb's who snatched a chance from a lineout three yards from the line and dived over before the opposition could lay a finger on him.
The East African team fought valiantly and often caused the visitors defence problems with strong surging runs, their star player was Eric Weaver a Welshman serving in Nairobi with the RAF, he had previously played professional football with Swindon town.
Fully signed Auckland v British Lions Programme - 1930
This belongs to member Chris Price (Chris2000Price@aol.com), and was bought a few years ago on Ebay from a seller in the US, who had found it in a jumble/garage sale in New Hampshire ! ... Auckland won the game : Lions 6 Auckland 19
Chris is looking still looking for the following: 1950: New South Wales
Combined Country; 1955: Boland, East African XV, Junior Springboks, North
East Districts, Orange Free State, South West Africa and South West Districts;1959:
NSW Country; 1962: Boland and Orange Free State.....
Paris Olympics - Rugby postcard 1924
|Three teams entered the Olympic Rugby Competition - France, USA and Romania. Each country played two games. Both France and USA beat Romania, who were awarded the bronze medal. France won 59-3, scoring 13 tries including four by the fine Stade Francais winger Adolphe Jaureguy. The USA then defeated Romania 39-0. The final was played at Colombes stadium, Paris on 18 May 1924 and the USA took the gold with a 17-3 victory before 30,000. The Americans, from Stanford University, scored five tries, (Farrish(2), Patrick, Rogers and Manelli), with a conversion by Doe. Gallau scored the lone French try. The match finished in uproar, when Gideon Nelson, one of the reserves, was flattened by a walking stick. The American anthem was jeered, and rugby ceased at the Olympics, the USA remain olympic rugby champions.
Lancashire vs Australia 1908
A programme from the first Australia tour to the UK. In what was a very competitive game, both teams has periods of dominance. Several chances were missed by the home team, even being held up after crossing the visitors line. The visitors led 6-0 at half time after a try by "Boxer" Russell. In the second half Carmichael appeared to touch the ball down behind his posts only for the Lancashire wing Bryning to beat him to the ball to score, this was followed by another for the home team after a dribble and rush sending Gallagher over the line. The Scores were locked 6-6, however the visitors started to dominate and McCabe scored a fine side stepping solo try, in the final quarter MCCabe scored his second to give Australia a hard earned 12-6 victory. Perhaps the spine chilling tour "war Cry" had given them the edge "Hello ! Hello !; You are great men; We are glad; Let us meet each other; Come Come let us try ! "
Richard "The Enforcer" Loe's All Black shirt from 1992 test vs Australia
In what was one of the great front rows, Loe had switched to loose head, with Olo Brown and Sean Fitzpatrick forming a formidable front three. These shirts are unusual in that they carry "100 NZRFU 1892-1992" as well as the Silver Fern, to signify the centenary year of NZ rugby. The game, and especially Loe's involvement became notorious for an act of thuggery, when wing Carozza crossed for his second try, Loe dropped his forearm into his face breaking his nose. No action was taken during the game, but relations between Australia and NZ slumped. Australia regained the Bledisloe cup after winning 19-17. The NZ press headlines read "Loe hits Carozza on the snozza" .. Later that season Loe was suspended for 6 months for an eye gouging incident ..!! ..
Wales v Scotland 1909 menu
Menu for the game played in Swansea on February 1st 1908. In what was a Grand Slam season for Wales, they just beat their Scottish visitors 6 (2 tries) to 5 (one goal). In what was a tense game, Scotland crossed the Welsh line in the last few minutes only for the try to be disallowed (similar to the Deans incident in the NZ 1905 game) the player had brought the ball down short and wriggled over the line. The Welsh team contained legends such as Winfield, Gabe, Trew, Gibbs, Bush, Travers and Harding. The menu started with oysters, mock turtle soup, turbot and sole, haggis, sweetbreads, beef, welsh mutton, turkey and ham, pheasants, fruit tart, mince pies, wine jelly, cheese and coffee .. a feast indeed !!
Vancouver v New Zealand 1925
Rare programme of the match played on the return journey of the 1924 All "Invincibles" Blacks. Having moved on from the UK, the Invincibles played two test against France before moving onto Canada. There they played three games Vancouver, Victoria and an exhibition game. The Invincibles contained Nepia at full back, amazingly he played 30 games on this tour. The team also contained ACC Robilliard who had the misfortune to break his foot in the only the second game on the UK leg of the tour, he made up lost time by scoring 4 tries in this game. The final score being 49-0 to the All Blacks. The game was played in front of 9000 spectators, its stated that the Vancouver team played gamely to the end, but could not cope with with the All Blacks inter passing and back up play ...Some things never change ...
March 2007 :
DHD Davies Cap
Welsh cap presented to David H Davies, who played one game Wales v Scotland 1904 a game won 21-3. Davies captained Neath RFC in 1902/1903 where he took the unprecedented step of making a public apology to the crowd for his teams home defeat by Swansea that season. Davies went on to serve the WRU, where in 1927 he arranged for a Welsh XV to play Cross Keys in to raise funds for the locality, hit hard by the general strike. Wales sent a nearly full team, however they lost 13-3 !! ... does anyone have a copy of the programme or ticket ? ..
This item can be viewed at the RFU museum, Twickenham - Make a visit on your next game, or make an afternoon of it ...