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April 23 down the years
Death of a Springbok legend
Wavell Wakefield is dispossessed during the Middlesex Sevens semi final between Harlequins and Old Millhillians, Twickenham, May 19, 1928
Wavell Wakefield is dispossessed during the Middlesex Sevens. His Harlequins side won the first four tournaments © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: John Dawes | Bennie Osler | Wavell Wakefield
Teams: South Africa

Death of the former Springbok captain Bennie Osler was announced in Cape Town. A fly-half who played a kicking game, Osler was recognised as the tactical mainspring and leader of the side that enjoyed a Grand Slam tour of the Home Unions in 1931-32, only losing one of the 26 matches they played.

John Dawes, who had played such an influential role in the rise of the London Welsh club, played his last first-class match for them, turning out in the unaccustomed role of fly-half in their 10-7 Easter Monday win at Newport.

Wavell Wakefield led Harlequins to the second of their four successive wins in the second Middlesex Sevens, beating Blackheath 28-6. The surprise package of the day was club side Old Cranleighans who came within minutes of reaching beating Blackheath. The final was preceded by a 1000-a-side game between spectators.

Again Old Cranleighans reached the semi-finals, although this time they lost to Harlequins II, the eventual winners, after extra time. The Harlequins first team had already lost to OMTs in the opening round of the day.

Dublin celebrated its Millennium with a special Ireland-England international outside the Championship. England won 21-10 at Lansdowne Road on St George's Day.

On the same day, Barbarians thrashed Swansea 35-9 despite being reduced to 14 men for much of the match, with five second-half tries.

Blackheath beat the USA Olympic side 13-9, the Times noting that their "obvious limitations of the finer points of the game" cost them the win although they did score three tries to Blackheath's two. The USA were on a short tour to prepare for that summer Olympics.

The controversial tour of South Africa by the New Zealand Cavaliers opened in Johannesburg where the tourists won 22-21 against the Junior Springboks.

Sky Television unveiled plans for a multi-million pound professional southern hemisphere Super 12 tournament.

Lansdowne Road was the scene of the Leinster-Munster Heineken Cup semi-final. Munster, coached by Declan Kidney, ran out surprisingly easy winners 30-6 with out-half Ronan O'Gara scoring 20 of their points.

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