Author Archives: worldrugbymuseum

Alan Rotherham – the Original Half-Back

When international rugby began in 1871 it was a twenty-a-side game dominated by forward play and protracted scrummaging. In 1877 the number of players was reduced to fifteen. Over the following decade and a half the number of forwards slowly decreased as the number of backs slowly increased and teams discovered the benefits of a more attacking, open game, utilising running and passing backs. This extract from Frank Marshall’s 1892 book ‘Football the Rugby Union Game’ describes this evolution and pays special notice to Alan Rotherham, credited as the innovator behind the development of the half-back role. Continue reading

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Finchley’s own Clint McGregor

For a tight head prop Clint McGregor was quick…[and] with his powerful physique and good hands he was hard to stop… Continue reading

Posted in Clubs | 3 Comments

The All-Conquering 1984 Wallabies by Craig Muncey

As a young boy in 1984, I was heavily influenced by sport (as I am now). I was interested in most sports, especially sporting events on these shores. In football, I had Liverpool, a dominant force for the majority of … Continue reading

Posted in Australia, Countries | Leave a comment

The Original Brave Blossom

A few weeks before the last year’s Rugby World Cup, an article was posted on a website of Kyoto Shimbun (newspaper). The story featured Ishi Fukui, a woman who ran a sporting goods business from 1922 in Kyoto. The writer … Continue reading

Posted in Countries, Japan | 1 Comment

A Scandal in Paris: France v Scotland, 1913

The opening match of the 5 Nations Championship in 1913 was beset with problems from the outset… Continue reading

Posted in Countries, France, Scotland | 1 Comment

I remember when I managed the All Blacks…

Twickenham Stadium Tour Guide John tells the story of the weekend he “managed” the All Blacks… Continue reading

Posted in New Zealand | 2 Comments

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

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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