September 10 down the years
Edwards calls time
Gareth Edwards called time on his career on this day in 1978
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Welsh legend Gareth Edwards broke the news that, after 53 consecutive caps for Wales and ten Tests for the Lions, he was retiring aged 31. Edwards' final Test match came against France in February 1978, when Wales clinched the Grand Slam. He played on three Lions tours, including all eight Tests of the victorious series in New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa in 1974. Playing alongside Barry John and Phil Bennett in the backline of Wales and the Lions he became well known as the greatest scrum-half in the world and arguably the greatest player ever to lace up a pair of boots. In 1973 he rounded off a length-of-the-field try for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in Cardiff - commonly referred to as the greatest try ever scored.
Scotland began their World Cup campaign with a whimper, narrowly avoiding a shock defeat to Romania. The Scots led 18-11 at the break but victory was only secured when Simon Danielli touched down after 75 and 78 minutes, the second securing a bonus point for a nervy 34-24 win. England, meanwhile, toiled to an unconvincing 13-9 victory over Argentina, replacement scrum-half Ben Youngs grabbing the crucial score in a bruising contest.
New Zealand beat the Lions 24-11 in Auckland to complete their first 4-0 series whitewash of the tourists. Malcolm Dick, Ian MacRae, Waka Nathan and Anthony Steel scored tries for the home side, with fly-half Macfarlane Herewini landing a drop-goal.
In only the third Ranfurly Shield challenge, Wellington retained the trophy, beating Otago 15-13. William "Massa" Johnston, the Otago forward, was dismissed early in the second-half to become the first player sent off in a Shield match.
The Romanian national side completed its first tour of England & Wales with a 9-9 draw against Harlequins at Twickenham. Flanker Viorel Moraru, later a distinguished ambassador for Romanian rugby, scored their only try.
Three Dax players were killed in an early-morning road accident while driving home from a rugby match in Bordeaux against Begles. The deceased were Raymond Albaladejo (the brother of Pierre, the well-known French fly-half), Jean Othats (a former French cap) and Emile Carrere, the club's fullback.
To celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, the Lions beat the Barbarians 23-14 at Twickenham in the first representative match played under the "free-kick" laws.