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May 16 down the years
Kyle delivers a masterclass in New Zealand
Former Ireland international Jackie Kyle, England v Ireland, Five Nations Championship, Twickenham, England, February 11, 1956
Jackie Kyle: a Lions and Ireland great © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Jackie Kyle | Bob Seddon

On tour with the Lions, Jackie Kyle enchanted the crowd at Rugby Park, Greymouth, with a virtuoso performance at fly-half. The great Irishman crossed for a hat-trick of tries in the Lions' 32-3 win against West Coast.

During the tour of Australia and New Zealand, Kyle played in 20 of the 29 games including all six Test matches. He had an influential part to play in a 9-9 draw with the All Blacks and also scored a try in a 24-3 win over Australia.

Leicester Tigers clinched the 2008-09 Premiership crown with a narrow 10-9 victory over London Irish in the season finale at Twickenham.

A try from No.8 Jordan Crane and a penalty and conversion from the boot of scrum-half Julien Dupuy were enough to see off the Exiles for whom Delon Armitage kicked two penalties and Peter Hewat a long-range drop goal. Victory in the largely-disappointing finale saw the Tigers claim the English crown for a record eighth time.

The Lions suffered their first ever defeat at the hands of Taranaki in New Zealand, losing out by a try to nil. The first recognised tour by a British touring side was captained by Bob Seddon who tragically drowned during the tour in a sculling accident on August 13. England cricket captain Andrew Stoddart took on the captaincy for the remainder of the tour.

The squad of 22 tourists played a total of 53 games against provincial and club sides during a gruelling six-month tour. They won 27 of the 35 matches played under union laws. The remaining 18 matches were played as Aussie Rules matches due to the popularity of the game in Australia.

The Irish team lost the opening match of their tour of South Africa, failing 18-15 against the Gazelles at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Castres retained the French Championship title, beating Racing Club de France 11-8 in the Final at Toulouse. For Racing, it was their first final for thirty years. For Castres, their third in a row.

Lourdes and Toulon draw the French Championship Final 9-all after extra time in Toulouse. Lourdes are declared champions by virtue of their 2-0 try superiority - the first time the title had been decided by this method.

Béziers won the French Championship Final beating Toulon 15-6 after extra time. It was the first of ten Championship titles the club won between 1971 and 1984.

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