April 3 down the years
France finally enjoy an away day
Captains Dickie Lloyd and Philippe Struxianopose for a picture during half-time in Dublin in 1920
Philippe Struxiano led his France side to a 15-7 win against Ireland in Dublin, their first win away from home. The landmark was secured thanks to tries from William Gayraud-Hirigoyen and braces from wingers Raoul Got and Adolphe Jaureguy. Despite the scoreline, the game was far from one-sided but the French proved far more adept at handling a greasy ball in poor conditions.
Wales lost 5-3 against Ireland in Belfast to finish with their first whitewash in the Championship since 1892. Only a season before they had remained unbeaten, even by the All Blacks. The game was "rugby at its worst" noted the Times, "a greasy ball on a greasy ground and a travesty of passing". The one try came, fittingly, as a result of errors and "neither side looked like scoring through constructive effort". The Daily Mirror added: "Never has an international side with an almost unrestricted supply of the ball lost as Wales did."
The announcement of an innovation that did not catch on. Rugby fans at the Japan Sevens championship in Tokyo were help deaf players by holding up yellow boards every time the referee blew his whistle. This overlooked the fact most players would be concentrating on the game rather than spectators.
Those who believe Twickenham tickets too often end up in the wrong hands should remember it's always been so. The Daily Mirror reported that an unnamed 'club' had been banned by the RFU after it discovered they did not exist. An individual who was secretary of the club which had played but did not re-form after the end of World War One two decades earlier continued to apply for up to 50 tickets a game which he then distributed among his friends.
Having lost the first Test 50-18 the week before, the South American Jaguars (all from Argentina) squared their series against South Africa with a remarkable 21-12 turn-round in Bloemfontein. Captain Hugo Porta collected all their points with a full-house of scoring actions, and his tactical kicking left the home side bewildered.
South Africa, undertaking the first short tour ever made by a Test team to the Home Unions, opened their visit with an 8-8 draw against the Combined Irish provinces, in effect Ireland B, at Ravenhill, Belfast.
England's selectors were out in force to watch Harlequins win 22-12 at Coventry before announcing the team to play in the upcoming special Centenary Test against the RFU President's XV.
The Barbarians opened their Easter tour to South Wales with a 9-0 win against Penarth in the traditional Good Friday match.