October 13 down the years
Survivors of the Uruguayan plane crash are finally rescued more than two months of enduring sub-zero temperatures in the Andes, December 22, 1972
Survivors of the plane crash are finally rescued © Getty Images

A chartered plane carrying 45 members and associates of a Uruguayan rugby team, Stella Maris College's "Old Christians", from Montevideo to play a match in Chile crashed almost 14,000 feet up in the Andes. A quarter of those on board died in the crash, while others succumbed to cold and injury, with eight being killed by an avalanche. A search for the plane was called off after eight days. After an incredible walk across the mountains, contact with the outside world was finally made on December 21 but it was not until two days later the last of the 16 survivors were rescued. It later emerged the survivors had had to resort to cannibalism to stay alive. The story was told in an international bestseller - Alive - by Piers Paul Read.

England beat Rugby World Cup hosts France 14-9 in Paris to reach their second successive World Cup final. Josh Lewsey, a veteran of the 2003 triumph in Australia, scored the only try of the game early on after France's makeshift fullback Damien Traille failed to deal with a high ball. Jonny Wilkinson chipped in from the kicking tee, while the hosts were limited to three penalties from the boot of fly-half Lionel Beauxis in front of over 80,000 at the Stade de France.

Ireland hammered an abysmal Wales side 36-6 in a re-arranged Six Nations fixture at the Millennium Stadium. The game was one of several re-organised due to the outbreak of foot and mouth, with Graham Henry's Wales looking out of sorts in front of their home fans. "This was an awful, abject performance by Wales, one of the worst I have witnessed, and I have played in and seen a few down the years," admitted Ieuan Evans afterwards. "The coach looked shell-shocked afterwards. I was stunned."

Moseley became the first British side to beat a touring side, winning by two goals and a try to a goal and a try against the New Zealand Native team.

Wales scrum-half Rob Howley was born in Bridgend. One of the finest players of his generation, Howley lit up an average Welsh side during the 1990s. Twice a Lions tourist, injury ruled him out of a certain start in the victorious 1997 Test side in South Africa but he finally wore the red jersey in the opening two Tests of the doomed 2001 series in Australia before injury again struck. A Heineken Cup winner with Wasps as a player, he moved in to coaching with Cardiff Blues before taking the job as Wales attack coach, doubling up in the role for the 2009 Lions.

The European tour by the fourth Springboks began with a 17-8 victory against the South-Western Counties at Home Park, Plymouth. Okey Geffin contributed 14 of the tourists' points with a conversion and four penalty goals.

The Canadian touring team opened their British tour at Exeter with a 30-8 defeat by a Western Clubs combination led by England fly-half Richard Sharp.

In his first big representative match fullback Dusty Hare scored two tries and kicked a penalty goal for the England Under-23s in their 19-10 victory over the Japanese tourists at Twickenham.

France, at full strength in Bucharest, fell 15-10 to Romania in their annual match.

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