- Ask Steven Rugby
The ambiguous debutJohn GriffithsJune 17, 2014
I thought Bill Beaumont's first cap was as a replacement for Roger Uttley, but records seem to credit his debut as a run-on game? Richard Wilkinson, England
The first full England squad that Bill Beaumont was named in was for the opening game of the 1975 Five Nations, against Ireland in Dublin. He was originally chosen as one of the bench replacements for the game.
When the side convened to fly to Dublin it was discovered that lock Roger Uttley had ricked his back - picking up a piece of apple pie, according to reliable sources - on the train journey to join the team.
Bill was immediately promoted to the starting fifteen for the match, not even a threatening letter from the IRA dampening his enthusiasm to win his first England cap.
He had a tidy match in a 12-9 defeat, but Uttley returned for the remaining Championship matches of the season.
Beaumont went on England's tour of Australia in the summer and came on as a replacement for Tony Neary during the opening Test in Sydney. After that he was an ever-present in the England side until injury brought a premature end to his career in January 1982.
John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.