May 24 down the years
The drug shame of an England captain
The RFU great and good announce that Laurence Dallaglio has been sacked as England captain © Getty Images

Laurence Dallaglio's world came crashing down as he quit as England captain following News of the World claims he took and dealt in hard drugs. Although he denied the story he said "the circumstances in which the supposed admissions were obtained amounted to an elaborate set-up". England coach Clive Woodward, who was among the panel of six senior RFU figures who met Dallaglio earlier in the day, said he was "bitterly disappointed". Martin Johnson was appointed England captain until the end of the Rugby World Cup later in the year. Three months later the RFU dropped charges against Dallaglio after "new evidence" emerged during an open hearing chaired by a high court judge. But the RFU still fined him £5,000 for bringing the game into disrepute, on top of legal costs amounting to £10,000.

A cracking third day of the inaugural World Cup saw the first major upset as Fiji thumped Argentina 28-9 with the usually dependable boot of Hugo Porta largely to blame as he suffered a nightmare afternoon. The USA also ruffled feathers with a 21-18 defeat of Japan.

Toulouse won the first Heineken Cup final to feature sides from the same country, beating compatriots Perpignan 22-17 at Lansdowne Road in front of 28,600 spectators. Perpignan failed to recover from a 19-0 interval deficit .

Munster won their second Heineken Cup title, beating Toulouse 16-13 in front of 74,417 spectators at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

After seeing his team beat Taranaki 23-7 in New Plymouth, the Lions' manager, James Baxter, called New Zealand wing-forwards "cheats" on account of what he believes were their off-side tactics. His objection came from the then favoured New Zealand tactic of having one wing forward who did not pack down, in effect giving them an extra scrum-half to hassle the opponent's fly-half. Baxter led a successful campaign to have the laws changed to force all eight forwards to engage in scrums.

Wales achieved the best result of their tour of New Zealand. Three Mark Ring penalties and two dropped goals by Jonathan Davies - the vital one in the last minute - brought the tourists a 15-13 win against Otago in a grim war of attrition. Otago coach Laurie Mains took the loss well, accusing the Welsh of "disruptive and illegal" tactics. "It's sad when an international side has to take to the field to obstruct, disrupt, pull jerseys and fake injuries to slow a game down."

Playing for the most part with only 14 men the Barbarians wound up their tour of South Africa with a 32-22 defeat of a District side that contained a strong Springbok Test element.

Scotland's first visit to New Zealand opened with a convincing 51-6 win against the Nelson Bays. Andy Irvine scored 23 points, including eight conversions, for the tourists.

England wing Mark Bailey ripped into the national selectors for "grossly inefficient and totally insensitive" behaviour after he was placed on standby to join the side in Australia - weeks after being told he was not needed - and then informed for a second time he was not wanted as they had called up Tim Buttimore instead. Bailey rightly pointed out in an amateur game mucking people around was poor. More surprisingly, the blazers forgave him and he did play for his country again.

Olympic 100m champions Linford Christie was locked out of the Linford Christie Stadium and so had to miss a training session as venue officials explained the track was unavailable as a massive TV screen was being erected for fans to watch nine games being beamed in from the Rugby World Cup in South Africa.


Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Monaco GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - China Open
    Tennis - Miami Open