January 16 down the years
Gerald wings in
Gerald Davies scored a brace for Wales on this day in 1971
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Wales beat England 22-6 to go ahead in the series for the first time since 1912. Gerald Davies scorched over for two corner tries in his first Five Nations game as a wing. Davies had played his first 12 Tests in the centre before shifting to the wing on tour to Australia in 1969 at the insistence of Welsh coach Clive Rowlands. John Bevan, making his debut, also scored a try as Wales marched towards a Grand Slam in a British & Irish Lions year.
Wales's 12-5 defeat of England in Swansea was their first win against the old enemy for ten years. On the same day South Africa beat Scotland 6-3 at Murrayfield to complete their second Grand Slam tour of the Home Unions. The great halfback duo of Danie Craven and Bennie Osler scored the Springboks' tries.
England flanker Neil Back was born in Coventry. As part of the 'holy trinity' alongside Richard Hill and Lawrence Dallaglio, Back played a major role in helping England to the 2003 Rugby World Cup title. A committed servant of Leicester at club level, Back also tasted huge success in both the Premiership and Heineken Cup, retiring from England duty in 2003 after 66 Test caps and three Rugby World Cups between 1995 and 2003. Back played his final Test in 2005 in the colours of the British & Irish Lions, his fifth Lions cap on his third tour including the victorious 1997 effort in South Africa. Following his retirement Back went into coaching first with Leicester and later with Leeds.
The first all-ticket Twickenham international match. Chris Winn's late try gave England a 9-6 victory over Wales, whose points were scored by wing Gwyn Rowlands.
Richard Sharp, an eleventh-hour replacement, made a dream Test debut, guiding England to a convincing 14-6 win against Wales at Twickenham. Sharp went on to win 14 England caps and two for the British & Irish Lions in 1962 in South Africa.
Adverse publicity surrounded the Wales-England match when an English player was bitten by a Welsh forward. Wales won 14-3 thanks to a brace from wing Stuart Watkins, watched by Hollywood A-listers Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
In only the second cap-match between the sides, Italy ran Wales close before losing 31-26 in Cardiff. Debutant fly-half Arwel Thomas was Wales's main scorer, kicking two conversions and four penalties, while a brace from wing Ieuan Evans beat an effort from former Wallaby
Julian Gardner, playing No.8 for the Azzurri.
In his first game as England team manager Geoff Cooke saw his side give France a shock in Paris. France won 10-9 but England were unlucky to have a claim for a try by Micky Skinner turned down. Skinner was making his Test debut, as were centre Will Carling and prop Jeff Probyn, but all were disappointed thanks to
a try from French No.8 Laurent Rodriguez.
The IRB ruled that half-time would in future last for ten minutes and that players may leave the field during the interval.