January 21 down the years
Springboks wrap up fourth Grand Slam
Doug Hopwood scored for South Africa on this day in 1961
© Getty Images
South Africa beat Scotland 12-5 at Murrayfield to complete their fourth Grand Slam of the Home Unions. Legendary No.8 Doug Hopwood scored one of South Africa's tries against the Scots, who followed Wales (0-3), Ireland (3-8) and England (0-5) in falling to Avril Malan's tourists. France slowed their progress somewhat with a 0-0 draw in Colombes.
MJK (Mike) Smith made his sole England appearance playing fly-half against Wales's Cliff Morgan at Twickenham, losing 8-3. Smith later made his name as an England Test cricket captain and remains the last man to play both sports for England. He played 50 cricket Tests and captained England in half of them, with his brave fielding at forward short-leg held up as an example of his leadership style, and scored three centuries and 11 50s at an average of just over 31. Wisden wrote of his debut, "Smith had a particularly bad afternoon from which - for that reason and reasons of cricket - he has never recovered."
Scotland captain Dougie Morgan won hearts and minds but lost a Five Nations point. With his side trailing 12-9 in Dublin he eschewed a kickable penalty that would have achieved a draw and went in vain for a match-winning try. Morgan had earlier kicked all of his side's points but could not find a response to a try by Ireland's replacement flanker Stewart McKinney.
SA Rugby announced changes to the South African national jersey for the British & Irish Lions series later in the year. "The new-look jersey will feature the national sports emblem on the left-hand side and the leaping Springbok on the right, in line with a President's Council decision of December," read and SA Rugby statement. "The Springbok badge will be simplified with the dropping of the current device of a ball within a protea that is placed above the Springbok."
Wales overwhelmed England, scoring eight tries in a 28-6 win at a muddy Cardiff Arms Park. The legendary Wavell Wakefield was in the England pack but powerless to stop a rampant Welsh side.
Wales won at Twickenham at last. On their tenth visit to the RFU's headquarters they beat England 7-3 with wing Ronnie Boon scoring a try (worth three points) and dropping a goal (worth four) in his penultimate Test match.
Lewis Jones made a notable Welsh debut in an 11-5 win against England at Twickenham. Wales went on to win their first Grand Slam for 39 years. Ray Cale and Cliff Davies were the Welsh scorers, while Jones began a year that would later bring three Test caps at fullback for the British & Irish Lions.