January 19 down the years
England beat the frost and the Welsh
January 19, 1900
Wales' Norman Gale holds off England's John Thorne as his team-mate Denzil Williams goes for the ball during England's win in Cardiff in 1963 © Getty Images
England, with seven players making their debuts, defeated Wales 13-6 on what was a bitterly cold day in Cardiff. They weren't to know it but it was to be their last win there for 28 years (see below). The game almost didn't happen, the straw spread over the pitch the day before protecting it just enough from the deep frost, but it was still almost completely frozen. Wales could have been three tries up inside ten minutes as they pounded the England line, but the visitors adapted better to the conditions and tries either side of the interval from Michael Phillips and John Owen sealed the result.
Will Carling led England to a stunning 25-6 win at the National Stadium, the first time in 24 years they had opened a Five Nations tournament away from home with a victory . Simon Hodgkinson was the star of the show landing a world-record seven penalties. "I didn't drink too much after the match," he said. "I want to remember every moment of the game." Wales' pack was torn apart by England and spent the last 20 minutes in headlong retreat. The win was slightly tarnished by boorish behaviour from the England team and management who refused to speak to the press, one player telling them: "You want! a quote, well, here's one. **** off'."
Former commentator Bill McLaren, known affectionately as 'the voice of rugby', died aged 86. McLaren's celebrated broadcasting career with the BBC led him to become a focal part of the rugby landscape and he remains the only non-player to be inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. He was awarded an OBE, CBE and MBE for his services to the sport and retired in 2002.
England kicked off their Five Nations campaign with a commanding 24-9 win over Ireland at Twickenham. It was, at the time, England's biggest margin over victory over the Irish and proved the catalyst for the country's first Grand Slam in 23 years. The victory was tarnished slightly by the broken leg suffered by centre Tony Bond.
Olympic sprinter Ken Jones scored both of Wales' tries in a brutal 8-6 victory over England at Twickenham. "It was just about the toughest, fightingest rugbv duel there has been since deliberate hacking was abolished in 1866," was the view of the Daily Express. "There was more punishment dished out and taken in any five minutes of Saturday's Twickenham match than one sees in 15 rounds of professional boxing." There was so many stoppages to patch players up that there were 13 minutes of added time at the end of the second half.
The Five Nations double-header rotation of matches was launched. France edged out Ireland 9-6 in Paris, while Wales recorded a 6-0 win over Scotland in Cardiff. Wales were roundly condemned for a poor performance and were left hanging on in the last few minutes. Even their one try from terry Cobner was hotly disputed as the pass to him seemed to have been made off the ground.
SANZAR confirmed the introduction of a bonus point for teams which score four tries or more in that year's Super 12 series. The format was later adapted by all the major domestic competition in Europe.
The New Zealand Army side lost its first match on its tour of Great Britain, going down 11-6 to a strong Scottish XV at Murrayfield.