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John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, including The Book of English International Rugby, The Book of International Rugby Records, British Lions, The Five Nations Championship, Rugby's Strangest Matches and Rugby's Greatest Characters. He was a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph for 19 years and is co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has also provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.
Ask John
Players scoring four tries in a Test for the Wallabies, Samoan-born All Blacks and the Crawshay's
John Griffiths
May 10, 2010

Welcome to the latest edition of Ask John where renowned rugby historian John Griffiths will answer any rugby-related query you have!

So, if there's something you've always wanted to know about the game we love but didn't know who to ask, or you think you can stump our expert - then get involved by sending us a question.

In this edition John answers questions on players scoring four tries in a Test for the Wallabies, Samoan-born All Blacks, the Crawshay's and the player with the most honours at domestic level.

Are David Campese and Chris Latham the only players to have scored four tries in a Test match for Australia? Sarah Engledow, Australia

Chris Latham holds the Australian Test record with five tries against Namibia in a World Cup pool match at Adelaide in 2003. All told, there have been six occasions when a Wallaby has scored four or more tries in a Test.

Greg Cornelsen was the first to achieve the feat, scoring against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland, in 1978. The only Aussie forward to do so, he became the first forward to score four in any major Test since George Burton had done so for England against Wales at Blackheath in 1881. The full list of Australian players who have scored four tries in a Test is as follows:

5 - C E Latham v Namibia, Adelaide, 2003
4 - G Cornelsen v New Zealand, Auckland, 1978
4 - D I Campese v United States, Sydney, 1983
4 - J S Little v Tonga, Canberra, 1998
4 - C E Latham v Argentina, Brisbane, 2000
4 - L D Tuqiri v Italy, Melbourne, 2005

Which is greater: the number of people born in Samoa who have played for New Zealand; or the number of people born in New Zealand who have played for Samoa? Henry Fraser, United States

The following New Zealand Test players were born in Samoa:
Soseni Anesi
Olo Brown
Eroni Clarke
Jerry Collins
Alama Ieremia
Casey Laulala
Chris Masoe
Mils Muliaina
John Schuster
John Schwalger
Rodney So'oialo
Isaia Toeava
Va'aiga Tuigamala

Most of these players grew up and/or were educated in New Zealand. Although there is no definitive listing giving the places of birth of all Samoan-capped players, considerably more than 13 of their international players are known to have been born in New Zealand.

NB: The All Blacks Frank Solomon and Jerome Kaino were born on American Samoa.

I have read that the Crawshay's touring side to South Africa in 1985 contained five former British & Irish Lions and five then Welsh internationals. Could you provide any details? Gwyn Jones, England

Crawshay's are affectionately known as the Welsh Barbarians and regularly tour overseas. Their selections usually embrace a mix of young up-and-coming Welsh talent with experienced internationals.

The five British Lions in their 1985 party to South Africa were Elgan Rees, Graham Price, Ian Stephens, Alan Phillips and Allan Martin. David Pickering, Mark Titley, Phil Davies toured as Welsh internationals who had appeared in the 1985 Five Nations, while former caps Ray Giles, Terry Shaw and Alun Donovan were also members of the side.

The side was led by the former Cambridge Blue, Chris Williams (brother of JPR) and played six matches, winning two but losing four:

v Winelands XV, Vredendal, Won 19-13
v Western Province XV, Cape Town, Won 37-23
v Eastern Province, Port Elizabeth, Lost 16-31
v Natal President's XV, Durban, Lost 18-40
v Northern Transvaal, Pretoria, Lost 9-34
v Free State XV, Bloemfontein, Lost 17-40

Injury took its toll of the tourists and they were happy to embrace the talents of the Springbok fly-half/centre, Errol Tobias, who assisted them during the latter stages of the visit.

Staying in South Africa, could you also provide details of the Springboks internal tour of 1985? Gwyn Jones, England

The internal tour was hastily arranged when the All Blacks cancelled their visit to South Africa for political reasons. The side was known as the "Shadow" Springboks but has never been acknowledged in South African records as an official Springbok team.

The tour party was as follows:

Fullbacks: Gysie Pienaar (Free State), Calla Scholtz (Western Province)

Threequarters: Dolly Ntaka (SARA), Carel du Plessis (Western Province), Wilfred Cupido ((Western Province Leagues), Danie Gerber (Eastern Province), Faffa Knoetze (Western Province), Ray Mordt (Northern Transvaal)

Half-backs: Naas Botha (Northern Transvaal), John Robbie (Transvaal), Christo Ferreira (Free State)

Front-rows: Anton Barnard (Eastern Province), Henning van Aswegen (Western Province), Flippie van der Merwe (Western Transvaal), Piet Kruger (Northern Transvaal), Uli Schmidt (Northern Transvaal), Wessel Lightfoot (Free State)

Locks: Rudi Visagie (Free State), Schalk Burger (Western Province), Louis Moolman (Northern Transvaal)

Back-rows: Rob Louw (Western Province), Theuns Stofberg (Western Province) (captain), Burger Geldenhuys (Northern Transvaal), Gerrie Sonnekus (Free State)

The South African party had been selected after a series of trials held in anticipation of the All Blacks tour. John Robbie was the former Lions and Ireland scrum-half.

Four matches were played:

v Transvaal Barbarians, Johannesburg, Won 36-19
v Cape Province Barbarians, Cape Town, Lost 13-18
v Central Barbarians, Durban, Won 16-9
v SA Barbarians, Pretoria, Won 30-18

The match at Loftus Versfeld against the SA Barbarians was regarded as "The Test". A crowd of 30,000 saw the shadow 'Boks play their best rugby of the tour and, marshalled by Naas Botha and well-served by their forwards, they established an early 15-3 lead before the Barbarians fought their way into the game. A late flurry of scoring, however, gave the senior side a convincing win:

South Africa 30 (3G 3PG 1DG) South African Barbarians 18 (2G 2PG)
August 24, 1985, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

South Africa: Z M J Pienaar; W Cupido, D M Gerber, F Knoetze, R H Mordt; H E Botha, C Ferreira; H J van Aswegen, U L Schmidt, P R van der Merwe, L C Moolman, S W P Burger, S B Geldenhuys, R J Louw, M T S Stofberg (captain)

Scorers Tries: Geldenhuys, Gerber, Mordt Conversions: Botha (3) Penalty Goals: Botha (3) Dropped Goal: Botha

South African Barbarians: A Stoop; D Bell, M J du Plessis, M Mboto, D A Coetzee; G P Visagie, F Bonthuys; G Downes, S A Povey, P G du Toit, H J Bekker, A T Markgraaff (captain), S Burger, J C Breedt, A Alexander

Scorers Tries: Bell, Alexander Conversions: Bonthuys (2) Penalty Goal: Bonthuys (2) Referee S Strydom

Further to your answer about MPs in the recent Parliament who were test rugby players, did any former internationals contest the General Election on May 6th? Graham, England

Yes, the former Ireland & Lions wing, Trevor Ringland, contested Belfast East, the constituency where Naomi Long unseated Stormont's First Minister, Peter Robinson. Ringland, a solicitor, stood for the Ulster Conservatives & Unionists - New Force Party.

Which player has won most top club honours - i.e. Magners, Premiership, French Championship, Super 14, Heineken Cup etc. Paul Bains, Hong Kong

In the Heineken Cup and Super 12/14 competitions, the top sub-international tournaments, the record is held by Reuben Thorne who played in seven winning Super 12/14 finals for the Crusaders (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008).

In major national club championships, French prop Armand Vaquerin was in ten winning French Championship Finals with Béziers (1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1984). He also played in a losing final (in 1976 when Béziers were beaten 13-10 by Agen).

Considering appearances across the different competitions, the only players to appear in winning finals in both the Heineken and Super 12/14 tournaments are Doug Howlett (Munster & Blues) and Rod Kafer (Brumbies & Leicester). Howlett also appeared in winning New Zealand Championship Finals with Auckland and played for the Munster side that won the 2009 Magners League (for which there was no play-off or Grand Final).

NB: The first Grand final to determine national champions in South Africa (the Currie Cup) was not until 1939, in New Zealand not until 1992 and in England not until 2003. This year is the first season that the Magners champions will be determined by a Grand Final.

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