Willie John McBride was named as Lions skipper on this day in 1972
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Wales's 14-8 defeat by Ireland in a game devoid of penalty goals left them whitewashed for the first time in the Five Nations. A scrappy game, in which the only successful kick out of 14 attempts was Michael Kiernan's conversion for Ireland, was labelled a "knockabout farce" by the Observer.
France were denied a first Cardiff Test win by a Derek Williams try perilously close to the dead-ball-line. Garfield Owen converted and Wales won 5-3. Afterwards, television replays suggested that Welsh flanker Geoff Whitson had knocked on before Williams's touchdown.
The planned Ireland-England match in Dublin was postponed until the next season owing to a foot-and-mouth epidemic in the UK. "Knots of disaffected English supporters, here because they were unable to cajole refunds out of airlines or hotel chains, wandered around not knowing quite how to amuse themselves," wrote Paul Ackford in the Sunday Telegraph. "Shopping and golf had been ticked off the list. Some were bleary-eyed from the traditional over-indulgence but they lacked the proximity of the game to reach for the hair of the dog. It was very flat."
The last international was staged at Kennington Oval, the original venue for England's rugby, football and cricket internationals. On a Monday afternoon, England beat a below-strength Ireland side by three goals to nil in front of the 5000 spectators who had braved bitterly cold temperatures.
Willie John McBride was named as Lions captain for the tour of South Africa, a record-breaking fifth trip for him, but the selectors came in for some flack after leaving out England captain John Pullin.
The Easter Monday Five Nations match between Ireland and France in Cork kicked off in the morning to enable the crowd, players and officials to enjoy the afternoon at the local races. In spring sunshine, Ireland romped to a 24-0 victory.
Wales ended France's three-year unbeaten Five Nations record, winning 3-0 thanks to a Kel Coslett penalty seven minutes into the game in Cardiff which was a display of attack and counterattack.
French wing Michel Pomathios became the first foreign player to turn out for the Barbarians, but got few chances in the club's 13-3 defeat by Cardiff.
Planned tours of Kenya by the Public School Wanderers and Hampstead were cancelled after comments from the Kenyan government that no player who had played against South Africa in the previous three years would be allowed. The clubs said that the ruling "was not in the best interests of rugby football".