The walk of shame
December 13, 2013
Running out at Twickenham is a career highlight for many players, but for a few the day has ended in the walk of shame and an early bath. After Sam Egerton became the first person to be red carded in the Varsity match, we look at seven other high-profile dismissals at Twickenham.
Paul Ringer gets his marching orders after an eventful start to England v Wales in 1980
© Getty Images
Cyril Brownlie (England v New Zealand 1925)
All Black Brownlie became the first player to be sent off in an international when he was dismissed by Welsh referee Albert Freethy. Within minutes of the start Freethy gave warnings to both sides to little effect. Then in the seventh minute, in his own words: "In some loose play the ball had been sent away and two or three England forwards were lying on the ground. Brownlie was a few feet away from them, and as he came back he deliberately kicked on the leg an England forward lying face downward on the ground. I had taken my eye off the ball for a moment, and therefore saw exactly what happened. Previous to this I had warned each side generally three times, and therefore I had no option but to send Brownlie off the field. I much regretted having to do this, but in the circumstances I had no alternative but to take this drastic action." Brownlie played the third and final Test of his career a fortnight later in France.
Dylan Hartley (Leicester v Northampton 2013)
Perennial bad boy Hartley, who had already served bans for gouging, biting and punching, received his marching orders for calling referee Wayne Barnes a "f****** cheat" on the stroke of half-time of the Premiership final. Less than two minutes earlier he received a lengthy warning from Barnes for comments. He unconvincingly tried to claim he had not addressed his remarks towards the official but replays suggested he was banged to rights. Northampton, 13-5 down at the time, lost the match 37-17; Hartley, slapped with an 11-week ban, paid a higher price as he missed the Lions tour.
Paul Ringer (England v Wales 1980)
Wales forward Ringer became the first man to be sent-off in a Five Nations match when given his marching orders for a late tackle on John Horton. Within a minute of the start Ringer and John Scott were exchanging blows and in the seventh minute Roger Uttley claimed Ringer had kneed Dusty Hare in the back. Three minutes later David Burnett, the Irish referee, summoned both captains and told them he would have to act were they not able to control their players. "It was like World War Three but in them days referees didn't tend to send players off, no matter what they did," said Wales prop Graham Price. "It was all going on and then eventually all the players had a warning." Almost immediately, Ringer was guilty of the late tackle - with a little elbow thrown in for good measure on Horton and Burnett immediately sent him off. England scraped a 9-8 win.
Lewis Moody and Alesana Tuilagi (England v Fiji 2005)
A double dismissal and the first for an England player at headquarters. A string of dubious tackles was rounded off when Tuilagi took out Mark Cueto out in the air four minutes from time and a mass brawl ensured. Cueto, with some justification, confronted Tuilagi and was thumped for his trouble. Moody then piled in with a series of punches on Tuilagi, his Leicester team-mate, and both were banished. Moody was banned for nine weeks and Tuilagi for two; Moody's punishment was more severe as he had already served a six-week ban earlier in the season for punching in a second-team match.
Double dismissal - England's Lewis Moody and Samoa's Alesana Tuilagi brawl © PA Photos
Jannes Labuschagne (England v South Africa 2002)
Twenty-three minutes into the match Labuschagne was sent off for a late tackle on Jonny Wilkinson. While the decision appeared to be harsh (although described by Clive Woodward as "brutal"), New Zealand referee Paddy O'Brien had already warned both captains about niggling that had been present since the kick-off. England went on to register a record 53-3 win, aided by a penalty-try given by O'Brien after a high tackle. Labuschagne was banned for 23 days and never played for his country again.
Federico Mendez (England v Argentina 1990)
In only his second Test, 19-year-old Argentinian hooker Mendez was ordered off after a haymaker poleaxed England's giant second-row forward Paul Ackford. As Mendez marched off, Ackford was led away on wobbly legs, earning him the nickname 'Bambi'. "I was really young and inexperienced," Mendez told Ackford 12 years later. "The scrum had collapsed, [Jeff] Probyn thought I had grabbed at his balls so kicked me in the head and I hit the first thing I saw who was wearing a white jersey. I didn't plan to hit you. It was a reaction. If it happened now I would stay calm and look for Probyn later when I had a better chance in the tackle or at a ruck.
Noa Nadruku and Tevita Vonolagi (Eng;land v Fiji, 1989)
The Daily Express labelled Fiji "savages" after they had two men sent off and "were lucky not to lose two more … in a series of savage atrocities Fiji dragged their name in the mud as they tried to mug England". Ackford (him again) was punched to the ground by Moses Tagu - who had been red carded in the same fixture a year earlier - and after 52 minutes Irish referee Brian Stirling, in his first Test, sent off Tevita Vonolagi for a late tackle on Jeremy Guscott. Four minutes from time Noa Nadruku cynically took out Will Carling and he too was ordered off. Fiji's manager showed no remorse saying he "was not happy with some the referee's decisions and he got carried away".
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