December 3 down the years
Bowing out in style
Shane Williams signs off in the best way © Getty Images

Welsh rugby bid an emotional farewell to Shane Wiliams as the legendary winger brought his international career to an end in front of 60,000 fans at the Millennium stadium. Wales lost the game to Australia, a couple of months after losing to the Wallabies in the third-place playoff at the World Cup in New Zealand. In the final minute of his international career, with his final touch, he powerfully fended off Berrick Barnes before speeding over the line and touching down with a somersault. It was his 58th try in 87 Tests

Scottish referee Jack Taylor offered to abandon the Wales-South Africa Test at Cardiff as monsoon conditions made the players of each side indistinguishable and the touch and goal-lines became obliterated by mud. The Springboks fared the better of the sides in one of the Arms Park's many games to be affected by the weather, winning 3-0 thanks to a lone penalty from the boot of fly-half Keith Oxlee.

At Bow Street Court nine members of Blackheath RFC were fined £10 each with £1.50 costs after pleading guilty to taking and driving away the team coach after their match against Oxford University the previous month. "This was a mad thing to do," the magistrate told them. It emerged the driver had stopped at a phone box to call the police to complain about the team's conduct (they had lit a newspaper on the floor after he refused to turn up the heating) when he saw his coach drive past. Those involved included former England wing-forward Peter Bell.

A bad day for Mrs Francis Talbot-Ponsonby who had her car broken into while watching her son play for Haileybury School against the old boys. It was estimated that cash and jewellery worth £2500 was taken - as a guide, Haileybury's fees were £264-a-year at the time; they are now closer to £30,000.

The Barabarians bloodied South Africa's noses with a 23-15 win at Lansdowne Road with Neil Back turning in a Man-of-the-Match performance. Springboks coach Kitch Christie said afterwards: "I would give the guy a South African passport. He's a helluva player. He gets around the field at pace. He is very effective."

Phil Hawthorne and Ken Catchpole steered Australia to a 14-11 win over Wales in Cardiff. It was their first Test win against Wales for 39 years and secured thanks to tries from Jim Lenehan and Alan Cardy.

All Blacks manager Ernie Todd announced that disciplinary action would be taken against "one of our players" after a fracas in a Cardiff hotel in the early hours of the morning. The next day prop Keith Murdoch was sent home for punching a security guard.


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