May 5 down the years
The hated Olympians
The USA squad for the 1924 Olympics ... hated wherever they went and robbed as well on this day in 1924 ©

Olympic ideals were lobbed into the bin in the rugby tournament as the USA side made itself hugely unpopular with a series of PR gaffs. On this day the US objected to the appointment of Admiral Percy Royds as referee for their match against Romania and after upsetting locals at every turn found themselves relegated to training at a local park. During the session all their clothes were stolen including $4000 of cash and valuables, even though they had paid a French attendant to guard them.

The exceptional Ronnie Poulton-Palmer, the outstanding England three-quarter of the pre-Great War era, was killed in action in Belgium, aged 25, struck by a sniper's bullet during fighting at Ploegsteert Wood. Probably the most famous rugby player of his generation, he had volunteered immediately for service with the Royal Berkshire regiment in 1914, arriving on the Western Front in 1915. He was one of ten England internationals to be killed in 1915 alone.

Mike Catt ended 12 years at Bath by agreeing a two-year deal with London Irish. He had wanted to remain at The Rec but at 32 bath were only willing to offer him an appearances-related deal after he had managed only six outings because of injury and England calls. "I am of the old school and would like to have stayed a one-club man," he said. "But this is professionalism, something I have to come to terms with."

All 65,000 tickets for the World Cup final rematch between England and Australia in Brisbane in June were sold out in under an hour.

Harlequins announced they had signed All Blacks and Auckland Blues fly-half Nick Evans. "Rugby allows me to go over there and see a bit of the world and experience the things that a lot of my mates have been doing so I thought it was a great opportunity for me," said the 28-year-old after agreeing the three-year deal.

In the final match of their tour of Britain, the New Zealand Army Team were beaten 4-3 by Monmouthshire at Ebbw Vale. Centre Jerry Shea landed the winning score with a four-point dropped goal.

Lyon O U won the French Championship title, beating Narbonne 9-3 in Bordeaux. Vincent Graule, the Lyon captain, led by example, scoring the only try of the match and converting it.

London Scottish, kings of sevens rugby, added the Paris tournament title to their name beating Harlequins 23-16 in the final.


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