October 16 down the years
New Zealand secure home final
France winger Christophe Dominici breaks from deep against Fiji, France v Fiji, World Cup, Stade Municipal, October 16 1999
Christophe Dominici broke Fijian hearts on this day in 1999 © Getty Images

Richie McCaw inspired the All Blacks to victory over the Wallabies as the hosts of the 2011 global gathering prevailed 20-6 at Eden Park. A first-half try from Ma'a Nonu and four penalties from the boot of Piri Weepu and a drop-goal from Aaron Cruden was enough to steer the hosts through against their perennial rivals. With France winning the previous day, the win teed up a repeat of the 1987 showpiece final.

At the 1999 Rugby World Cup, France secured their place in the quarter finals with a 28-19 victory over a competitive Fiji side at the Stade Toulouse. Christophe Dominici and Christophe Juillet scored for France, who were also gifted a controversial penalty try by referee Paddy O'Brien. On the same day, Gonzalo Quesada chipped in with seven penalties to defeat Japan 33-12. Diego Albanese and Agustin Pichot scored tries as the Pumas progressed to the quarter-final play-offs.

Australia coach Eddie Jones lauched a broadside at England, insisting that the Wallabies' World Cup rivals' mauls were illegal. "If you look at some of the examples, it becomes a big version of the 'truck and trailer'," Jones said. "One of the key structures of our game is that you can contest possession and if you've got a situation where there's actually no contest for possession, that you have a 'road-train' in process, then it's something that we need to look at very carefully. Obstruction can take different forms and certainly it could be something that we need to look at."

A (then) record crowd of 79,454 at the Stade de France saw Stade Francais record a 29-15 victory over Toulouse, with tries to front-row duo Dimitri Szarzewski and Pieter de Villiers.

Toulouse and France fly-half Frederic Michalak was born in Toulouse. A prodigiously talented player whose temperament has sometimes been questions, Michalak made his international debut in 2001 against South Africa and has since racked up over 50 appearances. At domestic level he has won both the Top 14 and Heineken Cup with his hometown club, and enjoyed a Currie Cup-winning sojourn with Natal Sharks following the 2007 World Cup.

Ospreys and Wales fly-half Dan Biggar was born in Morriston. Along with his domestic team-mate James Hook, Biggar graduated to the international setup as the search began for a replacement for the veteran Stephen Jones. He made his international debut from the bench against Canada in November 2008, winning two further caps on the summer tour to Canada and the USA in 2009.

Blackheath, the leading club in England, maintained their unbeaten start to the season beating Old Merchant Taylors' 25-0. The club, moreover, protected its remarkable record of not yet conceding a single score.

England Under-23s ran in ten tries including a hat-trick by right-wing Charles Kent to sink Japan 58-15 at Twickenham.

A full-strength Welsh XV struggled to beat Argentina 20-19 at Cardiff. Only a desperate penalty goal kicked by Phil Bennett five minutes into added time at the end of the match saved a talented Welsh side.

Ieuan Evans scored a try in the first minute to send Wales on their way to a (then) record victory, 55-5, against Japan, at Cardiff.

Laurie Mains, who coached the New Zealand side that earlier in the year lost the World Cup final against South Africa, announced that he would stand down as coach at the end of the All Blacks' European tour in November.

Leicester, after losing two of their first three Premiership matches, defeated London Irish away by 31-30 and lost only once more in a season that brings them their fourth Premiership title.

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