May 12 down the years
The first Lions highlights ... with a delay
Leicester Tigers' ecstatic players celebrate with the Premiership trophy following an emphatic 44-16 win over Gloucester on this day in 2007 © Getty Images

A breakthrough for rugby fans as the BBC announced that highlights of the six Lions' Test against Australia and New Zealand would be shown on "BBC 2's 625-line channel". Films of the games were flown to London and edited into 50-minute packages.

John Dawes' famous British and Irish Lions side made an inauspicious start to their tour losing 15-11 against Queensland in Brisbane. The Lions landed in Australia and after a 58 hour flight lost out to Queensland.

Twenty-three days after winning League One, Rotherham were admitted to the Premiership but it was a decision which did not reflect well on Premier Rugby who had been prevaricating because of issues with the club's ground, adopting different rules to those applicable to other sides. They might have wished they had been refused promotion as they went straight back down, finishing the 2003-04 season without a win.

Leicester landed their fifth Premiership title - and first since 2002 - and moved to within one victory of an unprecedented trophy treble by blitzing Gloucester 44-16 at Twickenham. The seven-try Tigers were crowned champions in emphatic fashion, completing a league and cup double after lifting the Anglo-Welsh trophy a month earlier. Geordan Murphy, Alesana Tuilagi (2), Martin Corry, Andy Goode, Shane Jennings and Lewis Moody all scored to nail home Gloucester's wretched record in finals.

Ospreys secured the 2006-07 Magners League title and Celtic supremacy by seeing off a determined Border Reivers 24-16 at Netherdale. Borders bowed out of existence after the game and had so badly wanted to mark their passing with a positive display. They made the Welshmen battle for their triumph and there were conflicting emotions as the final whistle sounded at Netherdale, the visitors whooping in delight and relief - the hosts fighting back tears of pride and frustration.

Scotland, the Grand Slam Five Nations champions, started their tour of Romania unconvincingly in a 6-3 win in a rail-spoiled game against Bucharest. Peter Dodds' two penalties against one by Ion Constantine, all in the first half, was as good as it got, and such was the mud that the second half at times was close to farce because of the string of handling errors.

For the first time, the Super 12 round-robin matches finished with no New Zealand team in the top four to go forward to the semi-final stage. The semi-finals were to be contested by the Brumbies, Sharks, Cats and Reds. The Brumbies, with George Gregan and Stephen Larkham at the helm, defeated the Sharks 36-6 in the final thanks to a brace from Wallaby winger Joe Roff.

The touring British team were held in New Zealand for the first time, drawing 3-3 with Wellington.

Biarritz were crowned French champions for the first time, beating Perpignan by a try to nil (3-0) in Toulouse. Biarritz had also contested the final the year before, losing out 13-8 to Aviron Bayonnais.

The French union, in international isolation because of perceived foul play and unease with payment to players, banned the director of Bordeaux after they had hosted a rugby league game against the touring Leeds side. The board also threw out a proposal it should oversee a new league competition claiming it was "incompatible with the traditions of amateurism".

An official Welsh XV played on the African continent for the first time. En route to South Africa, the Welsh opened their short tour with a 26-8 win against East Africa in Nairobi.


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