January 10 down the years
Spitting a way to a ban
Newcastle's Rob Andrew accompanied by Pat Lam, Va'aiga Tiugamala and Epi Taione wait to take their places on the RFU's naughty boy step © Getty Images
An RFU hearing into the double sending-off of Gloucester prop Olivier Azam and Newcastle flanker Epi Taione a fortnight earlier. Frenchman Azam, whose nose was broken in a brawl, was suspended for five weeks for his part in the bust-up that led to allegations of racism. Taione was suspended for three weeks after pleading guilty to fighting, the committee ruling that he was provoked by the stormy nature of the game and by Azam spitting in his face. Azam was also banned for three weeks for spitting at Taione, though both sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
France launched the season's Five Nations with a 9-0 win against Scotland in cold conditions in Paris. The French went on to win the Five Nations title outright for the first time, having gone agonisingly close in previous seasons. The recalled lock Lucien Mias returned to the pack and again led his side with distinction, while flanker Francois Moncla scored the only try of the game in front of just over 26,000 fans at the Stade Yves du Manoir.
1990Red faces at Twickenham as the Daily Mirror revealed that a week-long mid-season training camp for England's players in Lanzarote had required ten back-room staff - one for every three players. All this came at a time the RFU was taking an old-school approach to the increasing professionalism of what remained an amateur game.
Welsh prop Jehoida Hodges, who had a reputation for versatility, was switched to the wing following an injury to Tom Pearson and proceeded to score a hat-trick of tries in a 21-5 defeat of England at Swansea.
Tom Kiernan's penalty goal with the last kick of the match saved Ireland in Dublin. His successful kick gave Ireland an 8-8 draw against South Africa at Lansdowne Road. Kiernan struck after wing Alan Duggan had earlier crossed for a try, having kicked two penalties to defeat the Boks for the first time five years earlier.
Robin Williams kept alive Newport's hopes of repeating their 1963 triumph over the All Blacks with an excellent kicking display. In an ill-tempered match his two penalties, drop-goal and conversion kept the All Blacks on a tight rein, but the tourists finished off 20-15 winners at Rodney Parade.
Carwyn James, master coach who outwitted the All Blacks with the 1971 Lions and again as Llanelli's coach a year later, died in Amsterdam, aged 53.
New Zealand captain Tana Umaga, a veteran of 74 Tests for the All Blacks, announced his retirement from international rugby.