'The Greatest' is born
The legendary Gareth Edwards was born on this day in 1947
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Welsh and British & Irish Lions legend Gareth Edwards was born in Glanaman, Wales. Widely regarded as the best player of all-time, he was the Lions' scrum-half in both winning series against New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa in 1974. He played 53 times for Wales, all consecutively, and ten times for the Lions. Edwards captained his country 13 times and won the Grand Slam on three occasions, winning the Five Nations seven times in all. In 2007 he received a CBE for services to sport and is widely regarded as having scored the greatest try of all time for the Barbarians against the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in 1973.
Bill Beaumont's Lions avoided a whitewash in South Africa, winning the fourth and final Test of the series 17-13 in Pretoria. The tourists had been hit hard by injuries on the tour but managed three tries from Andy Irvine, John O'Driscoll and Clive Williams to earn a consolation victory.
A virtuoso try from scrum-half Ricky Januarie deep into the second half, followed by some heroic 14-man defence saw South Africa to a famous 30-28 victory over New Zealand in Dunedin. Defeat brought an end to the All Blacks' world record run of 30 successive home victories while victory saw the South Africans end a decade of losses in New Zealand. It was also their first win at Carisbrook in eight visits.
Ronald Cove-Smith's Lions opened their tour of South Africa with a disappointing one-point defeat (7-6) against Western Province Town & Country. The home side scored a try and a dropped goal (worth three and four points respectively) to the Lions' two penalties from Billy Wallace at Newlands.
Future South African World Cup winner JP Pietersen was born in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Pietersen plays for the Sharks in Super 14 rugby and in 2007 was the top try-scorer in the competition with 11 tries. His performances earned him World Cup selection the same year and he played on the wing in the final as the Springboks beat England 15-6 at the Stade de France in Paris.
The Lions beat Hawkes Bay, one of New Zealand's strongest provincial outfits, in Napier. Roy Jennings, the uncapped West Countryman playing on the wing, was the man of the match scoring two tries and kicking two penalties in a 14-3 victory.
Young Malcolm Thomas's kicked points were the difference between the Lions and Manawatu/Horowhenua at Palmerston North. The Newport and Wales centre landed two conversions and a penalty goal whilst Jim McCarthy and Roy John scored a try each in the Lions' 13-8 victory.
France made their first tour of Southern Africa and opened with a 19-0 victory against Rhodesia in Salisbury.
The Lions registered five tries in a comfortable 40-13 win against Waikato in the last mid-week game of their tour at Rugby Park. Ollie Campbell chipped in with another 24 points for the Lions, comprising a try, four conversions and four penalty goals.