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John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, including The Book of English International Rugby, The Book of International Rugby Records, British Lions, The Five Nations Championship, Rugby's Strangest Matches and Rugby's Greatest Characters. He was a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph for 19 years and is co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has also provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.
Ask John
Campo's career, Test replacements and gaps between England caps
John Griffiths
October 12, 2009

Welcome to the latest edition of Ask John where renowned rugby historian John Griffiths will answer any rugby-related query you have!

So, if there's something you've always wanted to know about the game we love but didn't know who to ask, or you think you can stump our expert - then get involved by sending us a question.

In this edition, John answers your queries on Wallabies legend David Campese, Test replacements, Heineken Cup winners and gaps between England caps.

Q. The great David Campese played 101 tests for Australia and scored a record 64 tries. Do you know how many appearances he made for Australia (tour matches etc) and how many tries he scored overall? Ian McGowan, Australia

A. David Campese made his senior debut in the green and gold of Australia as a wing in their 26-10 tour victory against Manawatu at the Showgrounds Oval, Palmerston North on July 31, 1982, scoring a try and kicking two conversions and a penalty goal. His last appearance in the Australian XV was in a 39-12 win against the Barbarians at Twickenham on December 7, 1996, when he again scored a try.

All told he made 153 appearances for Australia in Test and representative games scoring 95 tries.

Q. Do you know where Rafael Carballo is playing now? He is a Pumas winger who scored a fantastic try in November 2008 against Italy in Turin. He was playing for Castres last season. He left the French club, but I cannot locate where he is now. Do you know anything? Paul, Brazil

A. Rafael Carballo has returned home to Argentina where he is recovering from injury. It is expected that when he resumes playing it will be with the Alumni Club in Buenos Aires.

Q. When did the law change in order to allow the entry of replacements and substitutions? Didier Lapastoure, France

A. The International Board ruled at their March 1968 meeting that replacements for injured players would henceforth be permitted in official International matches. The Lions in South Africa that summer were the first to make use of the new ruling when Mike Gibson replaced Barry John during the 1st Test, at Pretoria, on June 8, 1968.

Teams named four players to sit on the bench and could use a maximum of two, provided the injury (or injuries) had been certified by a doctor. Barry John fractured his collar-bone and much dismay was expressed on that occasion over the time taken - 15 minutes - to get John's injury certified and Gibson's entry to the Test confirmed.

The following year the bench was enlarged to five and then six, but still only two replacements could be made. Temporary (blood-bin) replacements were permitted in 1993 and the number of replacements that could be used was increased to four.

Finally, in the autumn of 1996 tactical substitutions were permitted. Five of the six on the bench could be used as tactical substitutions, leaving one to be used (if necessary) as a replacement (for injury). From 1998, when the bench was enlarged to seven, all could be used as tactical substitutions.

It is interesting to note, however, that Australia and New Zealand, who did not become affiliated Unions of the International Board until 1949, occasionally made use of an informal agreement to use replacements for injured players in their Tests between 1907 and 1947.

Q How often have the Heineken European Champions been defeated in their opening match in defence of their title? Anon

A. Leinster's 12-9 defeat by London Irish in the opening fixture of the 2009-10 Heineken Cup on Friday was the fourth time that the previous season's champions had been defeated in the first match in defence of their title.

Ulster (1999), Northampton (2000) and Toulouse (2003) were the other winners who failed in their opening matches, though unlike Leinster they each had to begin their defences with away fixtures.

The full list of winners, with the result of their opening defence of the title is as follows:
1996 - Toulouse - Won 44-26 v Milan (a)
1997 - Brive - Won 56-18 v Scottish Borders (h)
1998 - Bath - Did not compete owing to the withdrawal of English clubs
1999 - Ulster - Lost 12-26 v Bourgoin (a)
2000 - Northampton - Lost 30-37 v Biarritz (a)
2001 - Leicester - Won 12-9 v Llanelli (h)
2002 - Leicester - Drew 16-16 v Neath (a)
2003 - Toulouse - Lost 16-23 v Edinburgh Rugby (a)
2004 - Wasps - Won 25-12 v Biarritz (h)
2005 - Toulouse - Won 50-28 v Scarlets (h)
2006 - Munster - Won 21-19 v Leicester (a)
2007 - Wasps - Won 24-23 v Munster (h)
2008 - Munster - Won 19-17 v Montauban (h)
2009 - Leinster - Lost 9-12 v London Irish (h)

Q. Did Cliff Morgan play for the Lions against East Africa in 1955 in Nairobi? Chris, Wales

A. Cliff Morgan did play in the unofficial tour match against East Africa in Nairobi on 28th September, 1955, which the Lions won by 39-12. He scored one of their eleven tries, the late Arthur Smith got five of them and the others were touched down by Cecil Pedlow (two), Pat Quinn, Ernie Michie and Gareth Griffiths. Pedlow converted three.

The Lions side lined up as follows: D G S Baker; A R Smith, J P Quinn, G M Griffiths, A C Pedlow; C I Morgan, T Lloyd; C C Meredith, B V Meredith, T Elliot, R H Thompson (captain), E J S Michie, R C C Thomas, R H Williams and D S Wilson .

The East African side was drawn from the 70,000 Europeans resident in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika. Their best-known player was P J F Wheeler, the former Rugby School Cambridge Blue who captained the Light Blues in the 1953 Varsity Match.

Q. What is the longest gap between successive caps by an England Test player? Anon

A. Kevin Yates is the current holder of this unusual record, setting the mark in the game's professional era.

As a young Bath prop he won two caps on the England tour of Argentina in 1997. He was recalled as a Saracens player nearly ten years later for the tour to South Africa, appearing in both Tests. The gap between his appearance in Buenos Aires (Second Test, June 7, 1997) and in Bloemfontein (First Test, May 26, 2007) was nine years, 353 days.

Johnny Williams, the former Old Millhillians, Sale and Harlequins scrum-half who passed away at the age of 77 earlier this month, had the unusual distinction of clocking up nearly nine years between successive Five Nations appearances for England during the amateur era.

He won eight caps for England (all in Five Nations Championship matches) between 1954 and 1956, and was one of the three scrum-halves chosen for the 1955 Lions tour to South Africa. During the tour, however, he was pipped to the Lions Test place by a then uncapped Dickie Jeeps who went on to dominate the scrum-half position in the England side until 1962. Williams was suddenly recalled in January 1965 to face Wales in awful conditions at Cardiff, but England were beaten 14-3 and he never again played for his country. The gap between his last two England caps was eight years, 277 days.

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