September 29 down the years
Fiji send Wales crashing out
Wales flanker Alix Popham is stopped by the Fiji defence, Wales v Fiji, World Cup, Stade de la Beaujoire, September 29 2007.
Fiji held firm against Wales on this day in 2007 © Getty Images

The Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes held no joy for Wales as they slipped out of the Rugby World Cup, losing 38-34 to Fiji in their last pool match, a classic game ending with joy for the Fijians and a quarter-final showdown with South Africa.

"Gareth Jenkins will have the fiercest of stick of any Welsh coach - he is going to be hammered," admitted Phil Bennett afterwards. "I just hope he takes a few days to think about things. I played with him for eight seasons at Llanelli and he never took a step backwards on or off the field. He is is a proud and committed man and I think he will want to hang on in there." Less than 24 hours later Jenkins was sacked.

New Zealand secured the inaugural Rugby Championship with a 54-15 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires. The Kiwis were already four-from-four in the run up to the match against the Pumas underlined their status as the world's best side as they delivered a master class of total rugby at the Pumas' expense with returning fly-half Dan Carter and No.8 Kieran Read at the heart of proceedings. The hosts had threatened a major upset with the opening try of the game through scrum-half Martin Landajo but they were soon swept aside by a rampant New Zealand with winger Cory Jane leading the way with a hat-trick of tries. Fellow speedster Julian Savea also grabbed a brace with scrum-half Aaron Smith and centre Ma'a' Nonu the other beneficiaries of a dominant display that silenced a passionate home crowd and eventually brought them to their feet in appreciation.

Fly-half Lisandro Arbizu, who played 87 times for Argentina between 1990 and 2005, was born. One of the first Argentinians to move to Europe, he made his international debut as a 19-year-old and in 1992 became their youngest captain. He played in three Rugby World Cups (1991, 1995 and 1999) and missed out of a fourth in 2003 because of injury.

Matt Giteau was born in Sydney. Regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation, Matt Giteau became a stalwart for the Wallabies following his debut as a 20-year-old against England at Twickenham in 2002 - before he had even made his Super Rugby bow.

Nineteen-year-old Jonny Wilkinson was dropped from the England squad by Clive Woodward. Within six months of being rushed in as their youngest fly-half since the 1920s, Wilkinson found himself ousted after some cruel over-exposure to Australia and New Zealand during a summer fiasco which was none of his making.

"We need someone to put pressure on [Paul] Grayson and [Mike] Catt but when I chose him in the Five Nations last Spring it was only because we had an injury," Woodward explained. "I'd have preferred to hold him back."

All Black Anton Oliver escaped with an official reprimand after failing a drug test. A urine sample on his arrival in the UK for the Rugby World Cup showed excessive amounts of the banned substance pseudo-ephedrine. A judicial committee accepted Oliver's explanation - which was backed up by the team doctor - that it had come as a result of taking an excessive amount of a remedy for an inner ear infection.

Jack Orr, a Scottish international forward who was later a high-ranking police officer, president of the SRU and awarded the OBE, was sent off for an uncharacteristic lack of discipline playing for the British Police against Cornwall at Penzance.

Sale beat Northampton 9-6: three penalties to two tries - a result that would read 10-9 to the Saints under modern values.

A county friendly at Penzance between Cornwall and Hampshire in the presence of Brian Vaughan, an England selector, ended in a rare 0-0 draw.

As part of their centenary celebrations the Barbarians were granted a match at Twickenham against an England XV. More than 50,000 watched a keenly contested game in which the Baa-Baas were narrowly defeated 18-16.


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