Friday, 07 September 2007

Springbok Rugby - Historical Tales #1

As the Rugby World Cup launches in France later tonight, I have decided not to follow the general blogging trend and write match previews, reports and express opinion on the on and off field antics of players and management - the mainline press will do enough of that!

Instead I am going to be writing a series of small posts highlighting something interesting from the history of the South Africa Springbok rugby team.

Today I give you a quote from a book entitled "The Bob Scott Story" by R. W. H. Scott and T. P. Mclean published in 1956.

In the days before teams were flown around this country South Africa had an advantage with distance and altitude which we used to good advantage. In 1949 between the First Test in Cape Town and the second at Ellis Park in Johannesburg we packed the New Zealanders off by train to what was then Rhodesia forcing them to spend 8 out of 11 nights on the train. On their way back their train collided, in the middle of the night, into the rear of a Goods Train. This caused some players to be thrown out of the upper bunks, with one player, Charlie Willocks, a forward, so badly damaged his shoulder that it affected him for the rest of the tour.

And today they moan about food poisoning!

It seems this book is out of print. If anyone knows where to find a copy, please leave a note in the comments.

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