December 11 down the years
Rowntree joins the Lions
Graham Rowntree was unveiled by the Lions on this day in 2008
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Graham Rowntree was unveiled as the final member of the British & Irish Lions coaching team for the 2009 tour of South Africa. Tour manager Gerald Davies and head coach Ian McGeechan revealed their choice at the first of a series of media briefings at Heathrow airport. Rowntree, the former Leicester Tigers, England and Lions prop, joined a Lions coaching team that included Warren Gatland (forwards), Shaun Edwards (defence) and Rob Howley (backs). He played under McGeechan on the Lions' victorious tour to South Africa in 1997 and he made two Test appearances on the ill-fated trip to New Zealand in 2005. "Graham is an unremitting professional who'll bring much to our play against the South Africans," said McGeechan. "A rugged scrummager in his playing days but with a growing reputation now as a specialist coach he is an important addition to the coaching team."
Jonah Lomu, star of the Rugby World Cup in South Africa, was named the BBC's overseas Sports Personality of the Year, beating boxer Mike Tyson and Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher. Lomu scored seven tries at the World Cup, including his famous four against England in the semi-final.
Ronnie Poulton set a Varsity match record (that still stands), scoring five tries for Oxford in their 35-3 record victory at Queen's Club.
Cardiff's unexpected 8-6 defeat at home to Cambridge University was their first reverse of the season and their first at the Arms Park since April 1947. The young Cambridge flanker Clem Thomas, a future Welsh captain, scored one of the University's tries.
Munster gave the Springboks a hard match in Limerick before going down 11-8. Salty du Rand's try five minutes from time, converted by Basie Viviers, was the winning score.
Phil Horrocks-Taylor became the first player in a Varsity Match to go through the card of scoring actions (try, conversion, penalty and drop goal), helping Cambridge to a 14-9 victory over Oxford.
Springbok loose forward Tom Bedford was awarded Natal's Rhodes
Scholarship. The player announced that he hoped to be in contention for a place in the Oxford side for the 1965 Varsity Match.