January 26 down the years
The RFU is founded
The RFU, who's HQ is at Twickenham, was founded on this day in 1871
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The RFU was founded when 21 clubs met in London's Pall Mall Restaurant. They drew up the rules of the game according to those played at Rugby School. The English Union is the oldest in world rugby, and their first challenge was to decide on whether the game should stay amateur or go professional. As an established club, the delegates from Wasps RFC were invited to attend the event, but they went to the wrong hostelry on the wrong day and at the wrong time and although they may have enjoyed the fare, they missed out on being a founder member of the RFU.
A double salvo from Jimmy McCarthy meant the openside flanker was the toast of the Irish contingent in Paris as it helped his side to an 11-8 win at Stade Colombes. McCarthy's second try saw him race home from 40 yards, outrunning four would be tacklers in the process. Debutant John Notley scored a conversion, and Noel Henderson kicked a penalty for the visitors who have only won twice in Paris since. Ireland raced into an 11-0 lead on a bitterly cold day in the French capital, and they weathered a second half come back thanks to a huge forward effort. The win preserved Ireland's unbeaten postwar record in Paris, but that record wouldn't last much longer.
France winger Christian Darrouy scored a hat-trick of tries during a 24-5 win against Ireland at Lansdowne Road. Tony O'Reilly scored Ireland's only try, converted by Tom Kiernan. Centre Guy Boniface scored France's other try. The Irish Times was fulsome in it's praise of the French effort with the report leading with the introduction; "When left-wing Darrouy trotted, at walking pace, from near the dead ball line and placed the ball down quietly between the posts, two minutes from full-time at Lansdowne Road, Irish rugby had been dissected in the most painful manner by fifteen superb French athletes."
In only their second match against a major touring side, the Barbarians were beaten 17-3 by South Africa at Cardiff after holding the tourists to 3-3 in the first half. The Barbarians, who were without their first choice half backs missed some good chances to score a try after W.I.D. Elliott's opener, and they were punished by the tourists for whom Paul Johnstone scored a converted try.
Scotland opened their Triple Crown campaign with a 5-4 victory over Wales. A try from winger James Gowans and full back Allan Smith's conversion were enough to see the Scots home on a frozen pitch at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh. Wales' only points came from the boot of Billy Bancroft.
French dominance of The first European Challenge Shield continued as Bourgoin who defeat Castres 18-9 in a try-less final in Béziers in front of a crowd of 10,000.