November 14 down the years
Springboks' losing return to Twickenham
Drikus Hattingh wins a lineout during South Africa's return to Twickenham © Getty Images

South Africa returned to Twickenham for a Test with England for the first time since 1969. The post-apartheid Springboks lost 33-16 to Will Carling's talented team. Almost inevitably the day had a race element with observers noting the Springboks were a white team. "We must keep politics out of rugby," said team manager Abie Malan. "The team must be picked on merit regardless of colour or religion or language. You can't just look for and select a black player just because it might make some people happy. Everybody in the team has to be worth his place." It was the final outing for Naas Botha who announced his retirement after the match. "Some people will be glad to see the back of me," he admitted. "I retire with my head high. 1 never gave less than 100%. My career coincided with a very difficult period in the history of our country but it concerned much more important issues than rugby."

Graham Henry began his stint as Wales head coach. After the humiliating 96-13 defeat against South Africa five months earlier, Henry's men gave a respectable performance at Wembley before losing 28-20 to the same opponents. As with so many Wales games of the era, the boot of fly-half Neil Jenkins kept them in touch with their opponents. He struck five penalties to go with a try by Wales' only Test centurion Gareth Thomas but the Springboks had too much in reserve. Andre Venter and Joost van der Westhuizen breached the Wales defence to go with a penalty try.

England piled up their then record winning margin in Tests, overwhelming the Netherlands 110-0 at the McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield, in a World Cup qualifying match. There was a Test debut for wing Dan Luger and four tries apiece for Neil Back and Jerry Guscott.

A special resolution was passed permitting rugby league players in the Forces to participate in Service Internationals for the duration of the War.

The New Zealand Army team (the Kiwis) visited Ireland for the first time and were made to work hard for a 10-9 win against Ulster in Belfast. A young Jack Kyle led the New Zealanders a merry dance with his creative play.

Keith Bradshaw, the Wales and Bridgend centre, passed a thousand points for his club with a 19-point contribution to Bridgend's 25-0 win against Glamorgan Wanderers at the Brewery Field.


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