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May 1 down the years
Robinson handed England reins
Jason Robinson celebrates after their Gartmore Challenge Rugby Union match against South Africa at Twickenham Rugby stadium, Middlesex 01 December 2007. The match ended 22-5 to the Barbarians and was Robinson's last match for the Barbarians.
Jason Robinson was handed the England captaincy on this day in 2007 © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Ian McGeechan | Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson was named as captain of an England squad containing seven uncapped players for their two-Test tour of South Africa. The Sale Sharks wing, who had recently retired from club rugby, was appointed skipper for Tests against the Springboks in Bloemfontein on May 26 and Pretoria seven days later, presiding over two heavy defeats as the Springboks ran out 58-10 and 55-22 winners.

The International Rugby Board Council announced that it had approved a global trial of Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) for a 12 month period starting on August 1, 2008. The trial at all levels of the Game involved 13 of the 23 ELVs that had been trialled in approved tournaments around the world over the preceding two years. These included players being able to defend a maul by pulling it down, no restriction on the number of players in a lineout and the introduction of an offside line five metres behind the hindmost feet in a scrum.

Leicester regained the RFU Cup for the first time for a dozen years. Their front-row of Darren Garforth, Richard Cockerill and Graham Rowntree - average age under 24 - lay the foundations of a 23-16 win against Harlequins at Twickenham.

Newcastle lock Stuart Grimes was banned for 10 weeks by the RFU, missing Scotland's summer tour of South Africa. Grimes was sent off for butting an opponent during Newcastle's Zurich Premiership defeat against Gloucester a month earlier.

In his last home match as Northampton's coach, Ian McGeechan steered the Saints to a decisive 40-17 win against Bath that placed the club firmly second in the Premiership behind Leicester - Northampton's best performance of the professional era. Geech then moved on to become Scotland's coach.

London Welsh, the British club of the season at 15-a-side level, extended their dominance to the shortened version by beating Harlequins in the final of the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham.

New Zealand ran up their then highest score with a 117-6 defeat of South Australia under floodlights in Adelaide in the opening game of their thirteen-match visit to Australia and Fiji.

London Scottish continued their domination of the Middlesex Sevens, beating Loughborough Colleges 15-8 in the Final at Twickenham. More than 45,000 see the Exiles lift their fifth title in six seasons.

Rugby heaven for NZ rugby enthusiasts came in the form of the launch of a 24-hour rugby channel by broadcaster Sky.

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