September 10 down the years
Midgets, videos and a World Cup scandal
Wales scrum-half Gareth Edwards. March 19, 1974
Gareth Edwards called time on his career on this day in 1978 © Getty Images

England's World Cup campaign started with an unconvincing 13-9 victory over Argentina, but it was what happened later that evening that really overshadowed the competition. Some of the squad visited a number of bars, including one which was hosting a "Mad Midget Weekender". That might have been that had a security guard not sold CCTV footage of Mike Tindall, recently married into the royal family, seemingly canoodling with a girl. The affair escalated and derailed what was an already wretched tournament.

New Zealand beat the Lions 24-11 in Auckland to complete their first 4-0 series whitewash of the tourists. Malcolm Dick, Ian MacRae, Waka Nathan and Anthony Steel scored tries for the home side, with fly-half Macfarlane Herewini landing a drop-goal.

In only the third Ranfurly Shield challenge, Wellington retained the trophy, beating Otago 15-13. William "Massa" Johnston, the Otago forward, was dismissed early in the second-half to become the first player sent off in a Shield match.

The Romanian national side completed its first tour of England & Wales with a 9-9 draw against Harlequins at Twickenham. Flanker Viorel Moraru, later a distinguished ambassador for Romanian rugby, scored their only try.

Welsh legend Gareth Edwards broke the news that, after 53 consecutive caps for Wales and ten Tests for the Lions, he was retiring aged 31. Edwards' final Test match came against France in February 1978, when Wales clinched the Grand Slam.

Three Dax players were killed in an early-morning road accident while driving home from a rugby match in Bordeaux against Begles. The deceased were Raymond Albaladejo (the brother of Pierre, the well-known French fly-half), Jean Othats (a former French cap) and Emile Carrere, the club's fullback.

To celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, the Lions beat the Barbarians 23-14 at Twickenham in the first representative match played under the "free-kick" laws.


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