May 26 down the years
Harlequins toast maiden Premiership crown
Quins skipper Chris Robshaw and director of rugby Conor O'Shea, Harlequins v Leicester Tigers, Aviva Premiership final, Twickenham, England, May 26, 2012
Chris Robshaw and Conor O'Shea inspired Harlequins on this day in 2012 © Getty Images

2012 Led by inspirational flanker Chris Robshaw, Harlequins defeated Leicester Tigers 30-23 to clinch the Aviva Premiership crown in front of a record crowd at Twickenham. Three years on from their Bloodgate fiasco, Quins had director of rugby Conor O'Shea to thank for turning around their fortunes, with Robshaw and wing Tom Williams on the scoresheet in the final. Steve Mafi and Anthony Allen replied as Leicester rallied late on, but the Tigers were forced to bid farewell to club legend Alesana Tuilagi with a defeat.

Scotland's World Cup campaign got off to a flying start as they thrashed Ivory Coast 89-0 with Gavin Hastings accumulating 44 points including four tries. Elsewhere, Tonga's flanker Felipe Mahoni was on his way home after being sent off in the 38-10 loss to France after he kicked an opponent on the ground, while Canada beat Romania 34-3.

The Lions opened the New Zealand leg of their tour with a marvellous try by John Bevan. The Cardiff and Wales star got on the end of a flowing move in the second minute of the match against King Country/Wanganui that the tourists won 22-9.

The Brumbies beat The Sharks 36-6 to clinch the Super 12 crown at Bruce Stadium in Canberra. It was a case of third-time lucky for the Australian side having suffered final defeats to the Blues in 1997 and the Crusaders in 2000. The Brumbies broke the New Zealand stanglehold on Super Rugby with a devastating second half display.

Jean Prat led Lourdes to their fourth Championship title in six seasons, the miracle city beat Racing 16-13 in a closely contested final in Lyons.

New Zealand opened their first ever five-Test series with Australia by posting a 20-6 win in Brisbane. The teams played twice in Australia and three times back in New Zealand.

Jack Rowell was reappointed as England's coach after winning the Five Nations but not everyone was happy with leaks from within the RFU that there was frustration with his tactics and team selection. The RFu was forced to deny it had demanded changes to selection or the style of play. England won 21 of 29 matches under his tenure which ended in 1997.


England hooker Stan Hodgson's Lions tour ended in the first match after he broke his leg in the second half of the tourists' 38-9 win against Rhodesia.

Christchurch's Lancaster Park was re-christened Jade Stadium after a computer software firm won the bidding for naming rights.


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