December 30 down the years
Meyer returns to South Africa
Heyneke Meyer left Leicester for South Africa on this day in 2008
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Leicester Tigers Head Coach Heyneke Meyer returned to South Africa after being granted compassionate leave in order to attend to a serious family illness. Meyer joined the Tigers from South African Currie Cup side Blue Bulls oversaw 11 wins before returning to South Africa. Forwards coach Richard Cockerill stepped in temporarily, taking the job on a full-time basis when it became clear that Meyer would not be returning to England. He took a job with the Bulls in 2009 after Cockerill had guided the Tigers to a Guinness Premiership title and the Heineken Cup final.
New Zealand beat Swansea by a dropped goal to a try - 4-3 under the scoring system then in vogue, but a scoreline of 5-3 to the Welshmen under today's values.
The Barbarians were forced to call-off what would have been their first engagement of World War Two. Their game against Cardiff, for which they originally selected an all-international XV comprising representatives from all four of the Home Unions as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, was cancelled owing to snow and frost.
After 240 minutes Hertfordshire finally pipped Berkshire (5-3) to qualify for the County Championship quarter-finals as winners of the Southern Division Group. The sides had played two drawn play-offs in the weeks before this match at Croxley Green.
There was a rare scoreless draw in the Battle of the Roses match at Otley, where a young Brian Ashton, future England coach at the 2007 Rugby World cup, featured at scrum-half for Lancashire.
The touring Wallabies warmed-up for their Test with England by defeating the Combined Services 14-3 at Aldershot in their 18th match of the tour. Fly-half Laurie Weatherstone dropped their first goal of the tour and lands a penalty.
Colin Meads was awarded the Distinguished Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year's Honours announcement. Meads played 55 Tests for the All Blacks between 1957 and 1971, becoming a legend as the enforcer in their granite-like second-row and serving New Zealand as both an administrator and coach following his retirement from playing.