Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.
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The Sunday Mail had a brilliant but wrong-headed front page headline putting England’s 44 – 40 victory over the Wallabies in the third Test at Sydney into a xenophobic context: “Well done, England. Now a second continent hates you as well.”
Before the Australia 7-23 England Test at Melbourne, BMW put out a full-page advertisement with the catch line: ‘ONE DOWN, TWO TO WIN’.
Eddie Jones promised Bodyline rugby against the Wallabies. But Eddie’s England, with their 39-28 victory in the first Test at Brisbane against Michael Cheika’s rusty Australia, really delivered a Big Bash thrashing.
On 24 Jun 1899, an Australian rugby team played for the first time as a national combination against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
An unintended but significant consequence of rugby becoming a professional game in 1995-96 was the rise of the professional coach owing his livelihood and his status not to the land of his birth, but to the particular team he is coaching.
You have to be extraordinary to carry off a self-imposed description of yourself as ‘The Greatest.’ But Muhammad Ali, dead at 74, called himself that and no one dared to challenge him.