1973 – Everyone’s A Winner

The 1973 incarnation of the Five Nations championship kicked off at the newly rebuilt Parc de Prince in Paris on the 13th January.

France hosted Scotland in a tight game, with tries apiece from Claude Dourthe and Alan Lawson supplemented by a drop-goal each from Jean-Pierre Romeu and Ian McGeechan. In the end, just one Romeu penalty kick was the difference, handing France a 16-13 victory.

The tournament was underway.

Fra v Sco 1973 DocID11244

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March of the Groggs

Groggs – they are unique sculpted caricatures depicting famous rugby players and a select few other notable personalities.  For more than half a century these quirky creations have won over the hearts of rugby fans across Wales and beyond and we are delighted to be hosting a new special exhibition, ‘The March of the Groggs’, co-curated with sculptor Richard Hughes and World of Groggs.

World of Groggs and the Groggshop was established by Richard’s father John in Treforest, Pontypridd, in 1965. It has remained a family-run business ever since.

groggs 1

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Beginner’s Guide to the Six Nations

England v Ireland - NatWest Six Nations

Photo by David Rogers via Getty Images

With the 2019 Six Nations championship looming, it’s time to brush-up on the basics of the oldest rugby championship in the world.

The Six Nations in a nutshell

The Six Nations is a Rugby Union tournament played every year between six European rugby playing nations.  Those nations are: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy. Continue reading

Posted in Countries, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales | 2 Comments

Up for the Cup, 1919…

A century ago: January 1919 and with the Versailles negotiations to formally end WW1 still ongoing, five Services sides from amongst the victorious Allies’ ranks were being prepared for what became The King’s Cup: Rugby’s First ‘World Cup’…

On January 13th, 1919, at a general meeting of the Army RU, held at the Library of the Horse Guards in Whitehall, London, and presided over by Colonel C G Liddell, CMG, DSO, it was decided that a Rugby Tournament should be played in March and April between the services of New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Canada, the newly-formed Royal Air Force and the ‘Mother Country’.

In reality, Mother Country (also sometimes labelled the Home Countries) was the British Army; Canada was the Canadian Expeditionary Force; New Zealand was the New Zealand Army; South Africa was the South African Forces and Australia was the Australian Imperial Forces.  The Royal Navy felt unable to raise a fully-representative XV.  Rugby League players in the Army, RAF and Royal Navy were allowed to take part in Union games until the end of the season. Continue reading

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England Students to Japan, 1982


In 1982 an England Students side travelled to Japan to play a match against Japan at the Hanazono Stadium in Osaka.  If the stadium felt familiar to the team it was probably because it was modelled on Twickenham, when built at the behest of Prince Chichibu in 1929.

The strong England team included seven future England internationals, amongst them Simon Halliday and Brian Moore.  Facing them were a Japan side captained by Takeo Ishizuka, with a youthful Seiji Hirao in the backs. Continue reading

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The Longest Kick in Rugby Football

Some kicks seem to have been destined for immortality be they penalty goals, drop goals or the now long forgotten scoring device called goals from a mark.

Whether the longest kick in international history was the Springbok Gerry Brand’s colossal drop goal to seal victory in the final minutes against England at Twickenham in January 1932; or the massive goal from a mark by the All Black Don Clarke five minutes from the end of a very close match to beat England and win the two-match series at Christchurch in June 1963; or the monster 70-yard penalty goal kicked by the Welsh full back Paul Thorburn against Scotland in February 1986, these players were nevertheless all full backs whose kicking prowess was an essential part of the reason they were selected for their countries. Continue reading

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Merry Christmas from the World Rugby Museum!


This Christmas Card was made in Bavaria, Germany and is believed to date from the late 19th Century. Printed on the inside is the following poem-

“With fortune’s football at your feet

This merry Christmas Day,

May you attain your goal, and meet

With few kicks on the way”

Handwritten on the reverse is the simple message-

‘To Ted from Daisy’


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at the World Rugby Museum!

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