January 22 down the years
O'Reilly takes centre stage
Lions legend Tony O'Reilly made his Ireland debut on this day in 1955
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A teenaged Tony O'Reilly made his debut for Ireland in their 5-3 defeat by France in Dublin. "He came out of his first match with a great deal of credit," Vivian Jenkins told readers of the next day's Sunday Times. Ireland lost out to a converted try from prop Amedee Domenech, but O'Reilly had started an illustrious career. He went on to secure 29 Test caps for Ireland and 10 for the British & Irish Lions, for whom he remains the leading try-scorer in Tests with six.
Munster's Anthony Foley announced that he would retire from rugby both club and province at the end of the season. Foley, the province's longest-serving player with 192 caps, had just helped Munster to the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup for the 10th consecutive season. In 2006 he captained the side to the title for the first time with victory over Biarritz in Cardiff. In addition, Foley won 62 caps for Ireland.
The Watsonians club provided Scotland's entire threequarter line for their 27-0 win in Scotland's first match against France at Inverleith. Halfback James Tennent was the pick of Scotland's backline though, with a hat-trick of tries.
The first French victory on Scottish soil, the visitors winning 3-0 at Inverleith. Fly-half Eugene Billac scored the only points of the game with a try in front of 40,000 fans.
The famous New South Wales Waratahs finished their full-scale tour of the Five Nations with an 11-8 victory against France at Stade Colombes in Paris.
A typical New Zealand v South Africa clash was played at Richmond. Forces selections from players stationed in England staged a fair, vigorous match that was full of clever play before the New Zealanders (represented by airmen of the RNZAF) won 8-3.
A try by Kelvin Tremain, converted by Don Clarke who also kicked two penalty goals, brought New Zealand an 11-8 victory in a tight match against Leinster. Pat Casey inspired the Irish province with a 40-yard run for a try from an interception.