February 28 down the years
Butterfield off to a flyer
Jeff Butterfield got his England career off to a try-scoring start against France on this day in 1953
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Jeff Butterfield made his debut for England against France at Twickenham. The centre marked his first cap with a try in the 11-0 victory and went on to win 28 consecutive caps. Hooker Eric Evans and winger Ted Woodward scored England's other tries, with captain Nim Hall adding a sole conversion.
Brian O'Driscoll scored a try and a drop goal as Ireland narrowly edged England out at Croke Park with a 14-13 win. Despite being dominant, Ireland almost rued missed kicks by Ronan O'Gara until O'Driscoll - immediately after receiving treatment - crashed over from close range. Delon Armitage hit back for Martin Johnson's men who defended brilliantly but were left to rue indiscipline that saw two players sinbinned.
Inspired by replacement Chico Hopkins who had come on for Gareth Edwards, Wales overturned a 6-13 deficit to beat England 17-13 at Twickenham. Tries from David Duckham and John Novak put England in the driving seat, but scores from Mervyn Davies, Hopkins, Barry John and JPR Williams saw Wales home.
Ireland beat Scotland 6-0 to claim the International Championship for the first time in 13 years. Tries from legendary out-half, Jack Kyle and winger Barney Mullan saw off the Scottish challenge as Ireland set themselves up to complete a historic first Grand Slam if they could defeat Wales in their final game.
The RFU staged a home international outside London for the first time. The first Calcutta Cup took place at Whalley Range, Manchester. England defeated Scotland on a scoreline of two goals to one goal after Henry Taylor scored two tries and George Burton, Thomas Fry and Temple Gurdon scored a try a piece and captain Lennard Stokes kicked two conversions. William Brown scored the Scots' only try with Malcolm Cross converting.
Severe frost compelled the Barbarians to play the annual Mobbs Memorial Match at Richmond - the first time the fixture has been played outside the East Midlands. The Baa-Baas won a thrilling game of nine tries, 23-21.
Former England and New Zealand coach John Mitchell was confirmed as the first coach of the new Perth based Super 14 franchise, the Western Force.