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Historical Rugby Milestones 1960s

Carl Mullen signs rugby ball for small boy

1960s A short Historical Back drop of Britain

  • 1962 James Hanratty hanged at Bedford prison.
  • 1963 Beatles release their first album, Please please me
  • 1964 Pirate radio station Caroline starts broadcasting.
  • 1965 Death penalty abolished. Comprehensive education system starts.
  • 1966 England win Football world cup.
  • 1966 Terrible mining tragedy at Aberfan, Wales. 116 children and 28 adults died when coal tip waste slid down on the town's school.
  • 1967 Colour TV broadcasts start.
  • 1968 M1 motorway is completed and Euston railway station opens.
  • 1969 Concorde makes its maiden flight.


Romania record their first win over France in Bucharest, in a friendly tour match won by 11-5.

Romania France
Tries Barbu Tries Moncla
Cons Penciu Cons Vannier
Drops Penciu 2 Drops none
Alexandru Penciu
Aurel Barbu
M. Wusek
Valeriu Irimescu
Ion Sava
Rene Chiriac
Constantin Stanescu
Alexandru Teofilovici
Nicloae Capusan
Lica Coter
Vasile Mladin
Anastasia Marinache
Viorel Morariu (c)
Mircea Rusu
Radu Demian
Michel Vannier
Henri Rancoule
Guy Boniface
Jacques Bouquet
Sylvain Meyer
Pierre Albaladejo
Pierre Lacroix
Amedee Domenech
Jean de Gregorio
Raoul Barriere
Herve Larrue
Bernard Mommejat
Michel Crauste
Francois Moncla (c)
Michel Celaya

First Scotland tour, to South Africa. This is the first short international tour. Even though the tourists lose the Test, the tour itself is seen as a success and, in the way in which it is set up and conducted, sets the standard to follow.


USA Army Rugby Club Founded. The Army Rugby Football Club is one of the most highly respected teams at the United States Military Academy and its members are drawn from the United States Corps of Cadets.

Avril Malan's Springboks are unbeaten over 29 matches on their UK tour. They played the Barbarians in their last game and lost 6 - 0.

Cote d’Ivoire Rugby Federation founded.


October 31st, Oxford University inflicted their then record win over a touring team, beating the Canadians 56-0 at Iffley Road.


Richard Sharp scores one of the most elegant trys of all time. On a diagonal run from a scrum he sells more dummies than Mothercare to glide through Scotland's defence for the try that brings England the Five Nations title.

Clive Rowland's kicking tactics for Wales produce 111 lineouts in the wet and muddy Scotland Wales 5 nations game at Murrayfield. He was captain and scrum-half for Wales and since they were dominating the line-outs and won back the ball nearly every time, they were able to make good yardage by that method. No sooner had they won the line-out, Clive kicked it back out, which made for a grim spectacle. Wales won 6 -0.

In the 1968/9 law book the IRB brought in the Australian dispensation law as experimental, meaning that you could no longer kick directly into touch from outside the 25 yard line without the ball being brought back to a point level to where the ball was kicked for the lineout.

A letter to the newspapers at the time referring to the William Webb-Ellis commemorative tablet at Rugby school asked "Is there not a case now for altering the wording of the tablet in the close to "...who first took the ball in his hands and kicked it out of play, thus originating the distinctive feature of Rugby Football" ? Elton, Adderbury, Oxford shire.

Rowlands was blamed for this trend because of his tactical kicking, but the man himself does not feel solely responsible.

“We knew the Scottish pack were strong so we needed to keep the ball away from them. Personally, I’m not convinced there were 111 line-outs, but there you go.”

The All-Blacks toured during 1963 and played Wales at Cardiff, one memorable event was Colin Meads punching Clive Rowlands, here's what he says about that event.

"I didn’t punch the wee man. What happened was Clive was yakking and kicking the ball, yakking and kicking. Wales had bugger-all backs in those days, they kicked it all day. And then our man (Kevin) Briscoe put up an up-and-under and I had a five-yard start, Clive was under it and I got the little bastard. Ran right over the bloody top of him. He put on a good act, 80,000 people booed me and all I did was knee him up the arse. God, the memories are good. " - Colin Meads

Wales 0-6 New Zealand, Cardiff Arms Park, 21 December 1963

More than 60,000 saw the New Zealanders leave Cardiff with their first win in the Welsh capital.

This is regarded by many as one of the great All Blacks sides and only a 0-0 draw with Scotland denied them a clean sweep of all the home nations and France.

The fiercely contested game was played in dreadful conditions and scoring chances were limited for both sides.

New Zealand may have beaten Wales, but they were still beaten on Welsh soil by club side Newport 3-0 at Rodney Parade on the same tour in their only defeat.

John 'Dick' Uzzell's drop goal was the difference between the two sides and the Black and Ambers went down in rugby folklore as the third club side to beat the All Blacks, joining the 1935 Swansea side and Cardiff in 1953, while Llanelli would join this select group in 1972 .

Scorers - New Zealand: Pen: Don Clarke; DG: Bruce Watt

Wales: GTR Hodgson (Neath), DRR Morgan (Llanelli), DK Jones (Llanelli), J Uzzell ( Newport), DIE Bebb (Swansea), D Watkins (Newport), DCT Rowlands (Pontypool, capt), KD Jones (Cardiff), NR Gale (Llanelli), LJ Cunningham (Aberavon), B Price (Newport), BE Thomas ( Neath), Dai J Hayward (Cardiff), AEI Pask (Abertillery), A Thomas (Newport)

New Zealand: DB Clarke, MJ Dick, PF Little, RW Caulton, DA Arnold, BA Watt, KC Briscoe, KF Gray, D Young, WJ Whineray (capt), AJ Stewart, CE Meads, WJ Nathan, DJ Graham, KR Tremain

Referee: RC Williams (Ireland)

First Wales tour, to South Africa. The tourists win the majority of their games but the only Test sees them suffer their biggest Test defeat in 40 years, 24-3.

Georgian Rugby Union founded.


Canadian Rugby Union formed. The original Rugby Union of Canada was founded in September, 1929, and lasted until the outbreak of the War in 1939. It was not revived until 1965 as the Canadian Rugby Union.

Cracks were discovered in the concrete of the South Terrace at Twickenham and it was found to be in need of extensive repair. It was found to be cheaper to build a new stand. Planning permission refused because of objection by local residents (right of light). During next 10 years the houses are purchased by the RFU (for rent by employees). Planning permission granted in 1978 and rebuild completed in 1981.

Andy Hancock runs 85 yards in the closing moments of the game to earn a tie against Scotland 3 - 3.

Wales win the triple Crown in the 5 Nations.


The Lions lose 4 - 0 in New Zealand.


Keith Jarrett, at 18, makes a sensational Five Nations debut scoring 19 points in Wales's 34-21 demolition of England.

March 4th - Surrey finally overcame Cornwall in front of a fiercely partisan crowd of 16,000, some watching from the roof of the main stand, in the County Championship semi-final at Redruth. The two sides were familiar with each other as this was the second replay after 6-6 and 14-14 draws in the previous three weeks. The whole affair was slightly surreal, with bitter arguments over ticket allocations and prices, and accusations that spectators shone mirrors into place kickers' eyes and assaulted players. Bob Hiller's place-kicking and tries from Bob Lloyd and Terry Brooke brought Surrey a 14-3 win.

Wales appoint a coaching organizer by the name of Ray Williams.

Colin Meads became the second New Zealand player to be sent off when Irish Referee Kevin D. Kelleher sent him off for dangerous play in a game against Scotland at Murrayfield.


“A great injustice to a great player” - Charlie Saxton, the New Zealand manager for that tour.

Three weeks later that All Black touring party arrived home, and even though Meads was late getting to Te Kuiti, over 300 locals gathered outside the post office to welcome him home. Verna, his wife, told him that Te Kuiti was a small town with long arms and when there was a bit of trouble, those arms stretched out and offered comfort.

Thirty-eight years later he recalls the sending off.

“We flew from Edinburgh down to Cardiff on the Sunday and there were photographers there to meet us. Kel Tremain, my great mate in the squad, threw a coat over my head and said ‘there’s the dirty bastard, you can’t take photos of him’. "

“But I had some great friends in Wales, the older generation. Fellows like Bleddyn Williams and Jackie Matthews, who we got to know through their friendship with Fred Allen, our coach. So Bleddyn invited a few of us around to his house in Cardiff that Sunday afternoon. Fred, Kel Tremain, Ken Gray, Brian Lochore, Ian MacRae and myself all went. We had dinner and then a good bit of booze. It was all to get my mind off Murrayfield. There were a few fellows from the ’51 Lions there.

Bleddyn had two charming daughters, couldn’t have been more than 14 or 15 at the time, and we all danced with them. We left around three in the morning. When an All Black, Grant Batty, said in 1972 that the thing he loved about Wales was leaving it, I was upset. That’s not Wales.

“After I got back to New Zealand, Kevin Kelleher wrote to me about the sending-off, and I wrote back. We then sent each other Christmas cards every year. I was pleased there was no malice. He was a good guy.” - Colin Mead

Courtesy Sunday Times article June 15, 2005 David Walsh


President Bush plays for Yale Rugby team:

The Replacement of injured players was added to the 1968-69 Laws (law 12: up to two players per team).

Mike Gibson replaced Barry John in the Lion’s first test against South Africa in 1968 was the first official replacement in a test match (although replacements happened unofficially in New Zealand, South Africa and Australia before that.

Tactical substitutions were introduced in 1996 (three replacements).

December 15 – Asian Rugby Football Union Formed

The Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) was formed. Asia has a long rugby history with the first national rugby union in Asia formed in Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka, in 1878.

The ARFU had eight charter members, Ceylon, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore. The new Union hosted their first tournament, the Asian Rugby Football Tournament, in April 1969 in Tokyo. The tournament is the second oldest established international rugby tournament in the World and as of 2011 was called the HSBC Asian Five Nations.

ARFU's vision is "To create a sustainable, vibrant and competitive rugby culture for all stakeholders, which supports and develops the game in the Region".

Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in Asia and the international community is eager to and awarded Japan the right to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


Start of the decade of the dragon. Wales lead the way on coaching and the use of the squad system to win three Grand Slams and six Triple Crowns.

All Black fullback Fergie McCormick scored a then-world record 24 points in his side's 33-12 win over Wales in Auckland in 1969.

Gareth Edwards becomes Wales' captain at age 20.

Anti-apartheid demos mar South Africa UK tour but Engalnd get their first ever win over South Africa 11 - 8.

England captain Robert ‘Bob’ Hiller was instrumental in the win on the rugby pitch. He delivered a stirring pre-match pep talk and then hit a conversion and penalty.

“It was fantastic when the final whistle went."

“In those days England met New Zealand and South Africa so infrequently that a player was lucky to have one cap against each in his career. It was very emotional afterwards.”

- England Captain Bob Hiller.


The protests followed the team on the tour with anti-apartheid activist outside the team hotel. In the hours before the match, the Springboks bus with half the team on it was hijacked but was short lived as the driver was subdued before crashing the bus into a row of cars.



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