The Roar
The Roar


Who played in 1986 Celebration Matches?

Roar Guru
4th January, 2010

Despite all my efforts on the internet, and some books I have at home, I am unable to come up with complete teams and scorers from two celebration matches in 1986.

On 16 April, the British and Irish Lions played The Rest (made up of French, Aussies, Kiwis and Saffies).

The Rest won 15-7.

On 19 April, the Five Nations played the Overseas XV (the French switching to the 5 Nations). The Overseas Unions XV won comfortably 32-15.

I know the Lions team for the 16 April match was as follows: Gavin Hastings (Sco), Trevor Ringland (Ire), Brendan Mullin (Ire), John Devereux (Wal), Rory Underwood (Eng), John Rutherford (Sco), Robert Jones (Wal), Nigel Carr (Ire), John Beattie (Sco), John Jeffrey (Sco), Donal Lenihan (Ire), Wade Dooley (Eng), David Fitzgerald (Ire), Colin Deans (Sco-c), Jeff Whitefoot (Wal). Bench: Michael Kiernan (Ire), Malcolm Dacey (Wal), Richard Hill (Eng), Ian Paxton (Sco), Ian Milne (Sco), Steve Brain (Eng).

According to Simon Poidevin’s book, For Love Not Money, the Overseas XV that played the Five Nations on 19 April was: Roger Gould (Aus), John Kirwan (NZL), Danie Gerber (RSA), Warwick Taylor (NZL), Carel du Plessis (RSA), Naas Botha (RSA), Dave Loveridge (NZL), Steve Tuynman (AUS), Simon Poidevin (Aus), Mark Shaw (NZL), Andy Haden (NZL), Steve Cutler (Aus), Gary Knight (NZL), Andy Dalton (NZL-c), Topo Rodriguez (Aus). Bench: Andrew Slack (Aus), Michael Lynagh (Aus), Nick Farr-Jones (Aus), Murray Mexted (NZL), Shalk Burger snr (RSA), Flippie van der Merwe (RSA), Tom Lawton (Aus).

If anyone has access to actual day match programmes, or can remember the teams from back then, and can fill in all the gaps, it would be greatly appreciated.

1986 was an eventful year in rugby.

In the 5 Nations, France and Scotland shared the spoils with three wins apiece. Ireland, unbeaten the previous year (1985) with three wins and a draw, failed to win a match.


The Lions tour of South Africa was cancelled, and the match against The Rest (Overseas Unions XV) provided the only opportunity for players that year to don the famous Lions jersey.

Then later, the rugby world was agog with the news that a rebel team, the NZ Cavaliers, would tour South Africa instead.

Cavaliers skipper Andy Dalton had his jaw cowardly smashed in the opening tour game. The Boks went on to claim the series 3 tests to one: 21-15; 18-19; 33-18; 24-10.

The Wallabies were triumphant in 1986, beating both the French and Pumas (twice) at home, before winning a Bledisloe Cup series in NZ by two tests to one: 13-12; 12-13; 22-9.

The year ended with the All Black’s squaring the series in France, the second test being remembered as one of the most brutal in history, with All Blacks eightman Buck Shelford suffering a dangerously painful testicle injury.

For the Kiwis, 1986 was a “annus horribilis”. But it all came good for the All Blacks in 1987.

Spectacularly so!

Furthermore, if anyone can provide the teams for the 29 November 1980 clash between the England-Wales XV versus Scotland-Ireland XV, it would also be appreciated.