September 27 down the years
Mallett's shock exit
South Africa coach Nick Mallett during training at Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, Australia, July 26, 2000
Nick Mallett walked out on the South Africa job on this day in 2000 © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Nick Mallett

South African rugby was shaken to the core when Nick Mallett resigned as national coach only hours after a disciplinary hearing began in Cape Town into allegations that he brought the game into disrepute. The shock move followed the first day of a probe into a newspaper report in which Mallett accused the SARFU of "greed" for selling Tri-Nations championship tickets at US$43 each. It was an unfortunate end to a three-year reign which reached its peak in 1998 when the Springboks equalled the world record of 17 consecutive test victories.

Welsh star Keith Jarrett accepted a widely-reported £14k signing-on fee - a new record - to join Barrow Rugby League club. A week later, before he had played his first Rugby League game, he was named in the Wales squad for an international against England. However, his career was cruelly cut short when in 1973, aged 25, he suffered a stroke resulting from a hemorrhage.

The first match played by South Africa on British soil. The original Springboks beat East Midlands 37-0 at Northampton. On the tour the Boks picked up victories over Wales and Ireland, drew with England and slipped to defeat against Scotland in Glasgow.

John Kirwan, the second most capped All Black was surprisingly left out of the squad to tour England and Scotland, his place going to double international Jeff Wilson. Twenty-eight year old Kirwan, who admitted he was "totally devastated", vowed to bounce back, but he was not to add to his 58 caps. It was widely believed he had paid the penalty for spending five off-seasons in Italy, from where he returned two stone lighter ahead of the 1994 domestic season, as well as being too late to play in the first international against the British Isles.

The second All Blacks, in only the fifth match of their European tour, added to their growing reputation with a crushing 39-3 defeat of Swansea. The tourists, who went on to win every match of the visit, made Swansea look like "embarrassed phantoms" according to one newspaper.

Cardiff lock Tony Rees was handed what was the Heineken Cup's then longest ban - 90 days - after being found guilty of "wilfully kicking an opponent". Rees was cited by Harlequins after a stamping incident during a match which left their lock Gareth Llewellyn with a cut face.

Argentina opened their tour of Britain and Ireland with a convincing 39-9 win against Southern Counties at Oxford. Captain and fly-half Hugo Porta, who established himself on this tour as one of the world's greatest players, was the inspiration of the side scoring 19 points.

The 100th match in Heineken Cup history took place. Harlequins beat Bourgoin 30-18 in France.


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