October 25 down the years
Latham stars for record-breaking Wallabies
Chris Latham scored five tries against Namibia in 2003
© PA Photos
Australia rattled up their record total beating Namibia 142-0 in a World Cup pool match at Adelaide. Lote Tuqiri and Matt Giteau both scored hat-tricks for the Wallabies but were comprehensively outshone by fullback Chris Latham, who finished the game with a measly five. Wallabies coach Eddie Jones called on the IRB to help minor nations. "The answer is not just having more Test matches, the answer is having programmes in place that build the game in the country, that lead to as professional a domestic competition as you can have," he said. "Playing one-off Test matches is an absolute waste of time." Meanwhile, Wales continued to build towards their showdown with the All Blacks by winning a vital game with Italy 25-17. Tries from Mark Jones, Sonny Parker and flanker Dafydd Jones secured Wales at least second in their Pool heading in to their game with New Zealand. France were also in action and thrashed Scotland 51-9 to book their place in the quarter-finals. Serge Betsen, Imanol Harinordoquy, Frederic Michalak, Fabien Galthie and Nicolas Brusque all scored for Les Bleus.
Remarkable revelations in the aftermath of England's World Cup, which had started so poorly, appeared in the newspapers with some of those involved talking of team meetings in which there were "players swearing, shouting and threatening the coaches and the managers, and telling them to 'do some f***ing work'." In a damning indictment of Brian Ashton, the coach, one player told the Daily Telegraph: "There was an incredible amount of confusion. At training, [the coaches would] spend more time arguing among themselves than training us, so the players started to train themselves. We desperately needed Brian Ashton to step in and sort it out but it was like he was frozen - a rabbit in the headlights - watching all this chaos take place. No one was in charge and it was all spinning out of control."
Ian McGeechan succeeded Jim Telfer as Scotland coach following their exit from the Rugby World Cup at the hands of New Zealand. The Lions legend pulled no punches with his assessment of northern hemisphere rugby following his induction. "People might say we can never compete because we don't have the same pool of players but that is just an excuse," he said.
"The more we can get the countries working together and engage in talks at different levels, the more advantageous it will be. We are just as passionate about our rugby as anyone from New Zealand, South Africa or Australia but we have to try and strengthen our competition."
The All Blacks began the British leg of their visit with a convincing 33-3 win against the North of England at Manchester. "On a dry day the margin might almost have been murderous," wrote the Times' rugby correspondent.
1980JPR Williams was recalled by Wales' selectors for the Test against New Zealand after the WRU had satisfied itself of his amateur status following the publication of his autobiography. Not everyone welcomed the news, with an official of one rival board complaining the decision had "driven a coach and horses through the regulations of the International Board".
Tonga, on their way home from their first tour of Britain, overwhelmed Canada 40-14 in a fast, open match in Vancouver.
In glorious conditions Graham Mourie's All Blacks cut loose to score six tries in a 32-0 demolition of Swansea at St Helen's.
Percy Coles was appointed the first paid secretary of the Rugby Football Union.