Springboks wrap up a Grand Slam
Danie Craven's Springboks won a Grand Slam on this day in 1952
© PA Photos
South Africa, led by No.8 Hennie Muller, completed their third Grand Slam of the Home Unions by beating England 8-3 at Twickenham. Coached by legendary former scrum-half Danie Craven and boasting a fine array of attacking talent, the Springboks arrived in Europe having comprehensively defeated the All Blacks 4-0 in a home Test series. Scotland were obliterated 44-0 at Murrayfield before two tries from Basie van Wyk defeated Ireland 17-5 at Lansdowne Road. Wales lost 6-3 in Cardiff before England's resistance was broken and the tourists finished off in style with a comfortable win over France in Colombes.
France made their first visit for an international on British soil, losing 41-13 to England at Richmond. In only their third Test after home meetings with New Zealand and England, the French were unable to live with their old rivals in front of 6,000 at the Athletic Ground. Wing Daniel Lambert scored five tries for the home side on his debut.
More than 30,000 packed the bomb-damaged Cardiff Arms Park to see a Welsh XV lose 11-3 to the New Zealand Army team (the Kiwis). After a scoreless first-half Hugh Lloyd-Davies put the Welsh ahead with a penalty. Jim Sherratt scored the Kiwis' only try with fullback Bob Scott converting and kicking two penalties.
Rob Andrew made his Test debut, scoring 18 of England's points in their 22-15 defeat of Romania at Twickenham. Andrew went on to win 71 England caps and play five Tests for the British & Irish Lions. He played at three Rugby World Cups, including the 1991 final at Twickenham before taking up coaching successfully with Newcastle, later joining the RFU as their director of elite rugby.
Cardiff's Jonathan Humphreys became the first player in Heineken Cup history to be yellow-carded twice in the same match. He was sanctioned playing in his club's 26-13 semi-final defeat by Brive.
There was a rare defeat for London Wasps on their way to claiming the domestic league title. They lost at home for the first time in the season, beaten 19-17 by Harlequins for whom Thierry Lacroix kicks 14 points.
In the fall-out over the voting for the hosting rights to the 2011 Rugby
World Cup, the IRB received a letter from a British law firm asking for a new ballot. At length the letter is withdrawn, with there being no case to substantiate the request.
Wasps coach Ian McGeechan took issue with the rest periods imposed on Premiership players in the England EPS squad after having to rest wing Paul Sackey."If it is such a big thing let's have an even playing field because we are getting screwed off the field and screwed by what we can put on it at times," he said. "There has to be flexibility both sides and Premier Rugby have to be flexible just as England have to be. You don't go very far if you are just sticking to regulations all the time. If you live by contracts you lose the whole essence of what you try to do."