LAST CHANCE TO SEE! Mini Exhibition: Unlikely Alliances


Rugby School, 1923

In times of celebration or commemoration, rugby matches involving combined teams, such as England & Wales and Scotland & Ireland, have taken place to mark the occasion.

Currently on display at the World Rugby Museum, this mini exhibition takes a look at four such matches, from 1923 to 1970, where the long held rivalries between the home nations were put aside.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • 1923 Jersey England & Wales worn by Cecil Kershaw
  • 1959 Ball autographed by the England & Wales and Scotland & Ireland teams
  • 1971 Gift from the Welsh Rugby Union to the Rugby Football Union to mark the RFU’s centenary year

Unlikely Alliances will be exhibiting until early April 2018.  Tickets for the World Rugby Museum are purchased from the England Rugby Store in the South Stand of Twickenham Stadium. Or why not combine your visit with a Twickenham Stadium Tour?

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The All Blacks’ Dog

A year after the world sadly lost illustrator Murray Ball, the World Rugby Museum remembers his wit, politics and love of rugby.  Creator of the iconic Footrot Flats comic, the New Zealander left his mark on rugby history in the 1980s when he dramatically withdrew his character Dog as the mascot of the All Blacks.

Dog in WRM

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Dutour de France: A French debut at Twickenham

England and France first met for a match of international rugby in 1906.  Whilst England had been playing rugby for 35 years by this stage, France was new to the international rugby scene.  Having only played one previous international match against New Zealand, it was soon time for France to try their hand against England.  The two teams would meet annually from this point onward, but five years later, the teams would make history once more by meeting for the first time at England’s new home of rugby, Twickenham Stadium.

E v F 1911 touch flag

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Posted in Countries, France, International Players, Museum Collection | 1 Comment

Dual Identity: Two Women’s Rugby Players Capped For Two Countries (Each!)

As the NatWest 6 Nations continued this weekend, our women’s rugby historian Lydia Furse has been exploring those who have played at the national representative senior level for more than one country.

Pulling on the shirt.  Singing the national anthem.  These are honours that many of us dream of, but only an elite few ever get to achieve, following years of hard work and dedication.  For most, representing your country for the first time is a once in a lifetime experience.  However, there are a select few in the history of rugby who have played for two different countries.

Here we look at 2 examples from the women’s game: Debbie Francis, and Rimma Lewis.  Continue reading

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The Remarkable Story of Humphrey Luya

By Huw Richards

England team v Ireland 1948

England team v Ireland 1948

The face in the middle of the back row of the England and Lancashire team groups from 1948 compels attention.  Slightly taller than his team-mates and with short, receding fair hair, he has an air of maturity and knowing that there is more to life than sport.

Lock forward Humphrey Luya was born 100 years ago this month on 3rd February 1918, so just over 30 when the pictures were taken.  Educated at Merchant Taylor’s School, Crosby, he had graduated to playing for Waterloo before being commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1939.

He served in North Africa before becoming one of 12,000 Allied troops captured following the doomed defence of Crete in June 1941.  Continue reading

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Lest We Forget – George Alexander Walker Lamond (Scotland) 25/02/1918

G A W Lamond

On February 25th 1918 Lieutenant-Colonel George Alexander Walker (Geo) Lamond died in the military hospital at Colombo in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) aged 39.  A civil engineer by profession, he had seen active service in France before being sent to Mesopotamia in August 1917 to be in charge of the construction and organisation of the new port and works on the Twin Rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates.  He died from pneumonia brought on by a fever caught in Mesopotamia from where he had been invalided to Colombo.

By the time the First World War started, his distinguished rugby career was very much in the past.  Born in Glasgow on July 23rd 1878, he was educated at Kelvinside Academy and first played for Kelvinside Academicals, the Old Boys rugby club, in 1895 at the age of sixteen.  He played in the centre for Glasgow against Edinburgh in the inter-city match for three years, scoring a drop goal in his final appearance in the series on December 3rd 1898.  Continue reading

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The Man Who Wore the World’s Oldest International Rugby Jersey

John Henry Clayton only played one international match of rugby in his life, but it was a match to be remembered.  On March 27th 1871, Clayton, along with nineteen other Englishmen, would take on a Scottish Twenty at Raeburn Place for the first ever international rugby match.  Played in front of 4,000 spectators, this game would be the start of a rugby rivalry that continues to this day.

Clayton jersey

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Posted in England, International Players, Museum Collection, Schools | Leave a comment