The Roar
The Roar


Reliving the 1986 IRB centenary celebrations

Roar Guru
10th February, 2010
2248 Reads

Back in 1986, the IRB invited many of the world’s best players to participate in two celebration matches commemorating the centenary of the IRB.

The first match played on Wednesday 16 April featured the British And Irish Lions XV against The Rest Of The World XV. The Lions tour of 1986 to South Africa had been cancelled.

However, according to journalist-author and Wales and ex-Lions player Clem Thomas, the 1986 Lions team was officially recognised, and the 21 man squad presented with their tour blazers.

Scots hooker Colin Deans was awarded the captaincy.

The Lions XV was: 15-G.Hastings(S), 14-T.Ringland(I), 13-B.Mullin(I), 12-J.Devereux(W), 11-R.Underwood(E), 10-J.Rutherford(S), 9-R.Jones(W), 8-J.Beattie(S), 7-N.Carr(I), 6-J.Jeffrey(S), 5-D.Lenihan(I), 4-W.Dooley(E), 3-D.Fitzgerald(I), 2-C.Deans(c-S), 1-J.Whitefoot(W). Bench: 21-M.Kiernan(I), 20-M.Dacey(W), 19-R.Hill(E), 18-I.Paxton(S), 17-I.Milne(S), 16-S.Brain(E).

The World XV was: 15-S.Blanco(FR), 14-J.Kirwan(NZ), 13-A.Slack(c-AU), 12-M.Lynagh(AU), 11-P.Esteve(FR), 10-W.Smith(NZ), 9-N.Farr-Jones(AU), M.Mexted(NZ), 7-S.Poidevin(AU), 6-M.Shaw(NZ), 5-S.Burger(SA), 4-S.Cutler(AU), 3-G.Knight(NZ), 2-T.Lawton(AU), 1-T.Rodriguez(AU).

The match was won 15-7 by the World. Farr-Jones and Poidevin scored the tries for the World with Lynagh adding the extras. Beattie scored a try for the Lions with Hastings kicking a penalty.

The second match was played on Saturday 19 April in apparently terribly wet weather. This match featured the 5 Nations XV against the Overseas Unions XV. The French jumped across from the World/Overseas team to the Lions/5 Nations team.

5 Nations XV: 15-s.Blanco(F), 14-t.Ringland(I), 13-P.Sella(F), 12-M.Kiernan(I), 11-R.Underwood(E), 10-M.Dacey(W), 9-R.Hill(E), 8-I.Paxton(S), 7-L.Rodriguez(F), 6-J.Jeffrey(S), 5-D.Lenihan(c-I), 4-J.Condom(F), 3-I.Milne(S), 2-S.Brain(E), 1-J.Whitefoot(W).


Overseas XV: 15-R.Gould(AU), 14-J.Kirwan(NZ), 13-D.Gerber(SA), 12-W.Taylor(NZ), 11-C.du Plessis(SA), 10-N.Botha(SA), 9-D.Loveridge(NZ), 8-S.Tuynman(AU), 7-S.Poidevin(AU), 6-M.Shaw(NZ), 5-A.Haden(NZ), 4-S.Cutler(AU), 3-F.van der Merwe(SA), 2-A.Dalton(c-NZ), 1-T.Rodriguez(AU).

The match was won easily by the Overseas team 32-13. Gerber crossed twice, with Kirwan, du Plessis, Shaw and Rodriguez also adding tries. Botha had an off day with the boot, managing just one conversion plus 2 penalties.

For the 5 Nations Ringland scored twice, Blanco kicking a conversion and Kiernan a penalty.

For Australia Slack, Lynagh, Farr-Jones, Gould, Tuynman, Poidevin, Cutler, Lawton and Rodriguez were invited to the celebrations, each appearing in at least one match.

Similarly, for NZ Kirwan, Taylor, Smith, Loveridge, Mexted, Shaw, Haden, Knight and Dalton appeared in at least one match. For SA Botha, Gerber, du Plessis, Burger and van der Merwe did likewise.

Many thanks to John Griffiths (AskJohn) from the good folk at, for most of this info. Also thanks to fellow Roarer Sam T for his enquiries to the NZ rugby museum.