December 29 down the years
Maori come unstuck in Cardiff
Xavier Garbajosa retired on this day in 2008
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Wing Norman Biggs scored a try in the second minute of Cardiff's first-ever victory against an overseas touring side. Cardiff won by a goal and a try to a try as the visiting Maori wound up the Welsh leg of their British tour.
Former South Africa international Brendan Venter was born. The strong-running centre was capped 17 times by the Springboks between 1994 and 1999. He appeared as a replacement during South Africa's historic triumph in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final victory over New Zealand and was sent off in his final international appearance against Scotland at the next global showpiece in 1999. A former player/coach at Premiership side London Irish, where he helped secure the club's first major trophy, the Powergen Cup in 2002, he opted to pursue a career in medicine before returning to England to take charge of Saracens in 2009.
Bayonne's Xavier Garbajosa was forced to retire due to injury. The versatile 32-year-old back, a Heineken Cup winner with Toulouse in 2003, was forced to hang up his boots after 12 years due to a series of injury problems. He won 31 caps for France and played 37 Heineken Cup games for Toulouse, helping the French club win the European title for the second time in 2003.
The first-ever Barbarians-Leicester fixture ended in a 9-9 draw, three tries apiece. Interestingly referee Arthur Jones (a well-known Leicester player) awarded a penalty try to the Baa-Baas' Norman Wodehouse on the grounds of obstruction.
After winning the first five games of the Welsh leg of their tour the New Zealand Army side were held for the first time. Newport drew 3-3 with the Kiwis at Rodney Parade thanks to a brilliant display by the home halves Alf Panting and Jim Hawkins.
Norman Mair (Merchiston), future Scotland hooker and later one of rugby's most respected correspondents, appeared for the Scottish Schools against the English Schools in the annual holiday match at Richmond. The English won 18-10.
The Springboks struggled in one of their toughest matches of the tour before beating the Midland Counties 3-0 through a second-half penalty goal at Welford Road.
The Welsh selectors broke new ground by announcing an initial squad of 25 players who would meet regularly for weekend training at Port Talbot and from which the teams to play in the Five Nations would be selected. Among the uncapped members of the party was the young London Welsh fullback JPR Williams.