October 11 down the years
All Blacks rout Italy
Dan Carter breaks clear of the Italy defence, New Zealand v Italy, Rugby World Cup, Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Australia, October 11, 2003
Dan Carter made his World Cup debut on this day in 2003 © Getty Images
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New Zealand got their Rugby World Cup campaign underway with a crushing 70-7 win over Italy in Melbourne. Wingers Joe Rokocoko and Doug Howlett and fly-half Carlos Spencer all notched two tries with further scores coming from Reuben Thorne, Brad Thorn, Justin Marshall and Leon MacDonald. Dan Carter, playing his fourth Test in the centre, capped his World Cup debut with a try, six conversions and a penalty. Elsewhere, Yannick Jauzion scored a hat-trick to help France to a 61-18 victory over Fiji in Brisbane and Denis Hickie scored twice for Ireland as they eased past Romania 45-17.

The first ever International Rugby Board Annual Report revealed that 1999 Rugby World Cup produced a net surplus of £47,016,317 which meant a huge increase in the grants awarded to member unions. This IRB windfall provided a substantial part of the investment into rugby before the 2003 tournament in Australia.

Andrew Walker's career with the Wallabies was cast further into doubt after he walked out on the national squad for a second time. Walker failed to attend training before it was later discovered that he had also checked out of his hotel room without notifying team management. A return to rugby league followed for the dual-code international, who was instrumental in the Brumbies' march to the 2000 Super 12 final, before a spell in France. In 2007 he joined the Queensland Reds for the Super 14, but never rekindled his international career.

In a watershed day, Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) was formed to control the affairs of French rugby. Prior to this date French rugby was controlled by a general sporting body. FFR was responsible for the creation of Fédération Internationale de Rugby amateur (FIRA), promoting the game in countries such as Italy, Germany and Romania in 1934. The federation became affiliated with the IRB in 1978.

Dusty Hare, capped once by England in 1974, announced that he was to join Leicester in the hope that playing more regular first-class matches would bring him to the notice of the national selectors. Further international recognition for the fullback with a prodigious boot would not come until 1978, when he resumed an inconsistent international career that would yield 25 caps and a tour with the British & Irish Lions in 1983.

The All Black 'Originals' recorded their biggest victory of the tour to Britain, Ireland and France, scoring 15 tries and beating Hartlepool Clubs 63-0.

The IRB announced that six replacements instead of four would be allowed in Tests and that, for the first time, tactical substitutions were to be permitted.

The famous Welsh Rugby League international Gus Risman appeared in the unaccustomed position of scrum-half for The Army in a 17-3 defeat by Wasps at the Richmond Athletic Ground. The ban on league players appearing in Union was lifted for the duration of the war.

Newport wing Peter Rees scored two tries in the club's 47-11 defeat of Blackheath to take his career total for the Black and Ambers past Ken Jones's old club record of 146.

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