Monthly Archives: June 2020

War Games: The New Zealand Expeditionary Force during the Second World War

At the outbreak of war it had been decided that New Zealand should provide an Expeditionary Force of one division, under the then Major-General, former player and rugby supporter Bernard Freyburg. Their first echelon had landed in Egypt in February … Continue reading

Posted in Wartime | 2 Comments

War Games: Rugby on the home front during the Second World War

The UK rugby season, such as it was, closed at the end of April, 1940: whereupon Hitler launched his assault in the west, into Scandinavia, then through Holland and Belgium, once again, into France. Churchill replaced Chamberlain on May 10th … Continue reading

Posted in Wartime | 1 Comment

La Voulte – Small Town Heroes, 1970

La Voulte-sur-Rhone is a small town of 5,000 inhabitants with a proud rugby heritage situated in the Ardeche department in the south east of France.  For one magical season in 1969-70, La Voulte was the champion club of France and … Continue reading

Posted in Clubs | 1 Comment

Dai Gent’s All-Star XV

Swansea born Dai Gent twice trialled for Wales before being selected for England. A prototype scrum-half at a time when the English were playing half-backs, he memorably partnered Adrian Stoop in the English midfield in the first test-match to be held at Twickenham, in 1910, where England beat Wales for the first time in 12 years. He won 5 caps for England between 1905 and 1910 and in later life became a rugby correspondent with The Times newspaper.

The following extract in which he selects his ‘best ever’ side is from his 1922 book ‘Rugby Football’… Continue reading

Posted in International Players | 3 Comments

The Incomparable Christophe

Some rugby grounds inspire great performances and Twickenham is no exception.  The great deeds of English players tend to dominate in the collective memories of English fans – think Richard Sharp or Andy Hancock in the 1960s – but there have been players from other countries who have reserved some of their finest performances on the rugby field for this part of south-west London… Continue reading

Posted in Countries, France, International Players, Rugby World Cup | 3 Comments