September 3 down the years
All Blacks lose twice in a day
South Africa's Okey Geffin takes to the field, Scotland v South Africa, Murrayfield, Scotland, November 24, 1951
South Africa's Okey Geffin kicked the Springboks to victory over the depleted All Blacks on this day in 1949 © Getty Images

New Zealand suffered a unique misfortune - and one unlikely ever to be emulated - losing two international matches on the same day.

Separate New Zealand sides lost 11-6 at home to Australia and 9-3 in South Africa. In a column for, Huw Richards wrote, "This double failure was rooted in the New Zealand Rugby Union's guilt at having betrayed their players by bowing to South African apartheid laws, sending a touring team there minus several Maoris." The consolation prize was a home series against Australia, with the Bledisloe Cup at stake. Two tries from winger Ralph Garner helped the Wallabies account for their cross-Tasman rivals in Wellington while the boot of Okey Geffin downed the All Blacks in Durban. The New Zealand Freelance newspaper headlined it as an 'All Black Day in rugby'.

The Lions went 2-1 up in series against the Springboks, Cliff Morgan leading the tourists to a 9-6 win in Pretoria. Irish second row Robin Thompson was the tour captain and Scottish fullback Angus Cameron the vice-captain. Tour Manager Jack Siggins decided that he needed a young and lively side to take to South Africa and initially wanted his fellow selectors to disregard any players over the age of 27. In the end, only one player over the age of 30 - Maesteg scrum half Trevor Lloyd - was included in the tour party. They drew the Test series 2-2 with South Africa claiming the final Test 22-8 in Port Elizabeth.

while most people's attention was on other more pressing matters, it was decided that the planned 1939-40 Wallabies' tour of Britain and France was not going to happen. By the following summer France had been invaded by Germany.

The Romanian national side began its first-ever tour of England and Wales with a strong 19-3 win against Swansea at St Helen's.

Rugby Roma, fielding 11 Italian international players, gave Harlequins a run for their money at Twickenham before losing 16-14 in the opening game of their four-match tour to England & Wales.


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