December 10 down the years
Perth joins the Super Rugby landscape
ARU Managing Director Gary Flowers congratulates Western Australian Premier Dr.Geoff Gallop on this day in 2004
© Getty Images
England opened their 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign with a hard-fought 13-9 victory over Argentina in Dunedin, scrum-half Ben Youngs proving the match-winner for Martin Johnson's men with his second-half try.
Perth was awarded the fourth Australian Super 14 franchise, beating competition from Melbourne and Victoria. The franchise would eventually become the Western Force, who began their Super Rugby tenure with a 25-10 defeat to the Brumbies in the 2006 competition. "This is an historic day for Rugby in Australia. The Board is unanimous in its view that a Super 14 team based in Perth will be an enormous success and will make an enduring contribution to Australian Rugby," said ARU chairman Bob Tuckey.
Jonah Lomu returned to rugby by playing 60 minutes of Cardiff Blues' 25-10 Heineken Cup victory away to Calvisano. The All Blacks legend played his first game for over two years after undergoing kidney surgery. "It was just great to be out there again," he said. "I am just glad to have come through the 60 minutes without any injuries. I was fine the night before the game, but I did get a bit nervous five minutes before kick-off. It was like running out for my first game all over again - in fact, that's exactly what it was after 28 months since my last competitive match."
South Africa completed their European tour with a stylish 41-31 victory over a star-studded Barbarians side at the Millennium Stadium. The Boks fought back from a 19-point deficit just before the interval, going on to score 24 unanswered second-half points. South Africa shaded the try count 6-4, wings Breyton Paulse and Chester Williams sharing five touchdowns. Baa Baas coach Bob Dwyer was pleased that his side kept up their tradition. "It was a fantastic game. Games of this sort are even more essential in the professional era," he said. "The Barbarians are a tangible link to the amateur era, and it is important that we maintain the tradition of matches like these."
Jonathan Davies played his last game for Wales before switching codes. He led his country to their first home defeat (15-9) by Romania, for whom his opposite number Gelu Ignat played a key role. Davies won Test caps in the 13-man code for Great Britian and Wales before returning to union with Cardiff in 1995, winning five further Wales caps before his retirement.
Rob Andrew returned an immaculate 12 out of 12 place-kicking record to
gather 30 points (equalling the then world record for a major Test) in a 60-19 win by England against Canada at Twickenham. Mike Catt and Rory Underwood both bagged braces for the home side as Kyran Bracken and Tony Underwood completed the rout. Andrew
converted all six tries and slotted six penalties.
Jonny Wilkinson collected an MBE from the Queen following his exploits
in kicking England to World Cup glory. The fly-half returned to Buckingham Palace for the second time in a week following a reception for the players and coaching staff.
Oxford and Cambridge drew the 60th Varsity Match 0-0 - the last scoreless match of the series to date.
The most talked-of Varsity Match for years attracted a then record attendance of 40,000, to see Oxford win 15-5 at Twickenham in glorious winter sunshine.
Peter Robbins captained Oxford to a 3-0 victory in the Varsity Match. The Duke of Edinburgh was among a crowd of 55,000 at Twickenham.
Mike Gibson and Roger Young, the halfbacks, steered Ulster to a draw against the Wallabies at Ravenhill. Had Brian Marshall succeeded with either of his conversions, the Irishmen would have achieved a deserved victory.