February 7 down the years
Henry walks away from Wales
Graham Henry left his job as Wales coach on this day in 2002
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Graham Henry, the man they called "The Great Redeemer," quit as Wales coach in the wake of their 54-10 drubbing in Dublin four days earlier. The hard-nosed Kiwi had been taken to the heart of the Welsh public after inspiring 11 consecutive wins and helping to bring the national side up to date with professionalism. He was succeeded by his deputy Steve Hansen and returned to New Zealand as defence coach at the Blues before taking the All Blacks job in the wake of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Legendary Wales wing Gerald Davies was born in Llansaint. Davies played 46 Tests for Wales and five for the British & Irish Lions during the golden era of the 1970s. Blessed with searing pace and one of the all-time-great side-steps, Davies has entered into Welsh folklore. He made his Test debut against Australia in 1966, playing his early rugby in the centre. He switched to the wing in 1969 under the guidance of coach Clive Rowlands, and went on to star as Wales won a 1971 Grand Slam and the Lions a series in New Zealand. In 2009 Davies took a great deal of credit for restoring faith in the Lions brand as tour manager in South Africa.
Cardiff, the most successful British club side of the day, supplied a then record ten players for the Welsh side that beat Scotland 14-0 at the Arms Park. Among them were Bleddyn Williams and Jack Matthews, their legendary centre partnership broken by Matthews playing, and scoring, on
JPR Williams won the last of his then record 55 Welsh Test caps in a lacklustre performance at Murrayfield where Wales were beaten 15-6 by Scotland. Andy Irvine was awarded the first penalty try ever recorded in the Championship when he is obstructed by Gareth Davies.
The Stade de France in St Denis on the Paris outskirts staged its first rugby Test. A crowd of 80,000 - a new record attendance for a rugby international on French soil - watched the home side defeat England 24-17. Philippe Bernat-Salles and Christophe Dominici scored the French tries, with Neil Back responding in vain for England.
Ian Smith ran in four tries for Scotland in their 24-14 win against Wales. The Flying Scot had also scored four (against France) in Scotland's previous Five Nations match. His opposite wing Johnnie Wallace, a dual international with Australia, scored a brace.
Long before replacements were allowed, Watcyn Thomas broke his collar-bone playing for Wales against Scotland at Cardiff. He bravely played on and later scored a crucial try near the posts in his side's 13-8 victory.