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Historical Rugby Milestones 1940s

Carl Mullen signs rugby ball for small boy

1939-1945

WW2 see more about Rugby at war.


 

Although Rugby union players could not normally take part in a Rugby league game without being kicked out of the union and receiving a life ban and likewise any rugby league player could not play union, during the war the military were exempt and players could switch codes with impunity.


During WWII Twickenham was used as a Civil Defence Depot, the East Car Park was dug up for allotments, and the West Car Park was a coal dump.


1940

The RFU appointed medical student Tommy Kemp as England's first war-time captain. Kemp, who played his first international in 1937, finished in 1948, one of a handful to have played either side of the war. He also captained England in his fifth and final official appearance.


1943

January 23rd - A game took place at Headingly on January 23rd, 1943, under Union laws, between Northern Command Rugby League XV and Northern Command Rugby Union XV. A crowd of 8,000 saw the league team win 18-11.


1944

April 24th. Rugby League Combined services played Rugby Union Combined services, under Union laws, at Odsal (Bradford) with the league side winning 15 - 10. Bob Weighill who later became secretary of the RFU played.


1945

Cambridge beat Oxford beat 16-4 at Grange Road, Cambridge in the last war-time Varsity match.


1946

Dr Kevin O'Flanagan, an all round sportsman, played rugby for Ireland against France (in an unofficial international) and then played soccer for the Ireland national football team against Scotland seven days later. He won his only official cap in a Test against Australia, a 16-3 defeat at Lansdowne Road. He died in a Dublin hospital in 2006 aged 86.


1947

Mick O'Flanagan (brother of Kevin , see 1946) played international soccer on September 30, 1946 in a game against England. He began playing rugby union with Lansdowne R.F.C. and on February 28, 1948, he played for Ireland against Scotland in a 6-0 win at Lansdowne Road. The team features Karl Mullen and Jack Kyle,who went on to win the Triple Crown, Grand Slam and the 1948 Five Nations Championship.


1948 - Dropped goal reduced from 4 points to 3 points.


Australia beat England 11 - 0 at Twickenham:

(AUSTRALIA V ENGLAND RUGBY)

Credit: Britishpathe news

 

But Australia go down to the Barbarians in the last match of their tour 9 - 6:

BARBARIANS GAIN LAST HONOURS AS AUSTRALIAN RUGBY TOUR CLOSES

Credit: Britishpathe news


1949

The Australian rugby union is founded, taking control over from the New South Wales Rugby Union.


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