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le 1er test-match de l'edf

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moza de Tlse

A centenary New Year for France

Tuesday January 03 2006

First-ever Test

On New Year's Day 2006 France played its first-ever Test. It was against the touring New Zealand team and played at Parc des Princes in Paris on a rainy Monday afternoon before a crowd of some 10 000 people.

This was the start of France's glorious rugby history.

New Zealand had no difficulty in winning the match 38-8, scoring ten tries to two. But France had the honour of scoring its first tries in international rugby - two of them against the great All Blacks.. That was in itself not a bad effort as Scotland and Wales had managed only one try each and England and Ireland none at all.

The All Blacks' preparation had not been of the best - not the sort of thing one would expect in today's organised rugby which may just be less fun.

The All Blacks played Swansea on the Saturday and left by the "mail train" at 20.55 for Paddington with stops on the way and much singing and mirth till they reached Paddington. On Sunday the All Blacks left Victoria Station for Paris. They reached there in the evening, had a wash and meal and went out on the town to see the New Year in Parisian style. It was a joyful evening that included the Folies Bergères and the Olynmpia Theatre.

Rain drizzled down on the day of the match. Just after breakfast the All Blacks chose their team for the match. An hour before kick-off a cavalcade of cars arrived at Hotel St Petersbourg, near Gare Saint Lazare, to take the team to the ground. Billy Wallace recalled: "They were private cars and the drivers had evidently decided to have a race to the grounds. There were no speed limits in Paris and off they went like the wind. People were ducking and diving out of the way and the horns were tooting like mad and we wondered if we would get to the ground alive."

Despite the drizzle the field was hard with frost and the drizzle became sleet. The surface was slippery.

There was no toss before the match. Henri Amand, the courteous French captain, insisted that the All Blacks choose side and kick off. The All Blacks repaid the compliment by choosing to play against the wind and the rain.

Wallace says that the New Zealanders were surprised at the physiques of the French. "Somehow or other we got the impression that the French players would be small and effeminate chaps, but that was quite wrong and we got the surprise of our lives to find that the French players were of splendid physique - quite equal to our own."

Wallace scored a try and converted it and then Abbott scored to make it 8-0. Then came a great moment in the history of French rugby.

George Jérôme, a forward, caught the ball and started at counterattack from near his goal-line. The French handled well and swept downfield, putting Noël Cessieux in for a try.

Wallace writes: When Cessieux dived over for a try, the French players were in ecstasies of delight and turned somersaults and Catherine wheels and handsprings and back flips. The spectators all had their umbrellas up to keep off the rain and it was a great sight to see thousands of umbrellas waving excitedly up and down.

That was the first Test try even scored by a Frenchmen. New Zealand scored two more tries and led 18-3 at half-time.

France started the second half with their second try. The forwards attacked and Jérôme scored for Augustin Pujol to convert/

The rest of the scoring belonged to New Zealand.

That evening the two teams dined at the Champeaux Restaurant on the Place de la Bourse and then the All Blacks headed form Montmatre and a New Year ball.

The All Blacks stayed in Paris till 4 January when they returned to London.

The French enjoyed the visit and produced a song to commemorate the visit - Amour et Football!


For New Zealand:

Tries: Wallace 3, Abbott 2, Hunter 2, Harper 2, Glasgow

Cons: Wallace 2, Tyler, Abbott

For France:

Tries: Cessieux, Jérôme

Con: Pujol


The formations are different from those of nowadays and so we do not give numbers but the names are in an order from fullback to prop.

France: William Hay Crichton , Gaston Lane, Henri Levee, Paul Sagot , Augustin Pujol, Henri Amand (captain), Henri Lacassagne, Jacques Duffourcq, Noël Cessieux, Marcel Communeau, Allan Henry Muhr, Georges Jérôme , Albert Branlat, Paul Dedeyn, André Verges .

New Zealand: Ernest Booth, Bunny Abbott, Carbine Wallace, Jimmy Hunter, Eric Harper, Simon Mynott, Billy Stead, Dave Gallaher (captain), Bronco Seeling, Billy Glenn, Francis Glasgow, Newton, Bill Cunningham, Bubs Tyler, Bill Mackrell

Referee: Louis Dedet (France)

une petite traduction approximative de certains morceaux choisis:

la nouvelle-zélande n'eut pas de difficultés à battre les français, inscrivant 10 essais à 2. Mais la France eut l'honneur de scorer ses premiers essais, i.e 2 contre les grands AB. C'est plutot bien quand on sait que l'ecosse et le pays de galles avaient réussi à en mettre un chacun et l'angleterre et l'irlande aucun.

il n'y eut aucun toss avant le match puisque le capitaine français, Henri Amand insista pour que les AB choisissent leur coté et qu'ils aient le coup d'envoi. Les AB, appréciant le geste, décidèrent de jouerla 1ère mi-temps contre le vent et la pluie.

Wallace déclara que les neo-zél étaient surpris du physique des joueurs français. Ils étaient presque aussi forts qu'eux

Wallace écrit: quand Cessieurs marqua son essai, les joueurs français étaient comme "au 7ème ciel"... les spectateurs avaient tous des paraluies et ce fut beau de voir des milliers de paraluie s'agitaient dans tous les sens

les 2 équipes dinèrent ensemble et le 4 janvier, les AB quitèrent la capitale française pour Londres

les français apprécièrent cette visite et créèrent une chanson pour la commemorer: amour et football !

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il n'y eut aucun toss avant le match puisque le capitaine français, Henri Amand insista pour que les AB choisissent leur coté et qu'ils aient le coup d'envoi. Les AB, appréciant le geste, décidèrent de jouerla 1ère mi-temps contre le vent et la pluie.

Je vois bien le même échange d'amabilité entre, par exemple, Lagisquet et Novès... :wacko:

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moza de Tlse

un peu plus d'info sur les joueurs français (regardez donc dans quels clubs ils jouent... :wacko: ):

France's first Test players

Wednesday January 04 2006

Short biographies

France played its first-ever Test in Paris on New Year's Day a hundred years ago when they lost 38-8 to New Zealand.

We have already reported on the match. Here are biographical detail of each of those first Tricolors.

In those relatively unorganised days most of the French team came from Paris, though rugby was in the move in the southwest, which is now the game's French heartland.

Henri Amand (Stade Français)

Henri Amand was France's very first rugby captain. It was his only Test, as was the case with several of the players in that Test.

Amand was born in Paris on 17 September 1873. He played flyhalf for Stade Français when they won four championships (1893, 1894, 1901 and 1903) and five times when they were beaten finalists (1892, 1896, 1899, 1904 and 1906).

In 1913 Amand refereed the final of the French Championship and was the president of the French Rugby Federation.

He was educated at the Lycée Montaigne in Paris and became a draughtsman for a heating company. He died on 29 September 1967 in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.

William Hay Crichton (Havre AC)

William Crichton played fullback in France's first two Tests - against New Zealand and against England in 1906. Oddly for a fullback, he wore ear protectors.

He was actually an Englishman, born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, on 15 December 1881. He was one of those Englishmen who helped to establish rugby in France, though some say he was chosen only because the team needed an interpreter!

He was settled in Le Havre where he became a wealthy wool trader. He died on 1 July 1925.

Gaston Lane (Racing Club de France)

Gaston Lane, a three quarter, played wing in that first Test and in all played in 16 Tests for France between 1906 and 1913 after which World War I broke out. A soldier in the 346th Infantry Regiment he was killed in action at Lironville in the department of Meurth-et-Moselle on 23 September 1914.

Lane was born in Paris on 31 January 1883 and was educated at Lycée Lakanal after which he went into business.

Henri Levée (Racing Club de France)

He played centre in this Test, his only match for France. He survived World War I but died in a German concentration camp on 26 March 1943, the month when the ghastly camp at Sachsenhausen acquired its first gas chamber. It was a place where the prisoners suffered severe hunger and cruelty at the hands of the SS, as part of the Nazis' treatment of Jews.

Levee, whose father was a Paris city councillor, was born in Paris on 17 March 1885. He was educated at the Ecole Albert-le-Grand at Arcueil and became an industrialist. He was deported to Germany.

Paul Sagot (Stade Français)

Paul Sagot was born in Dijon but playing for Stade Français when chosen to play centre for France. In all he played three times for France - against New Zealand in 1906, against England in 1908 and against Wales in 1909 when he scored a try and kicked a conversion. He played in the Stade Français side which won the championship in 1901.

Sagot was born on 15 January 1885 and became a soldier, rising to the rank of colonel in the 11th Artillery Regiment. He died in Le Havre on 27 June 1959.

Augustin Pujol (Stade Français)

Toto Pujol was from the southwest but playing wing for Stade Français at the time of his selection, the only time in which he played for France. He is the first French player to have kicked a conversion kin a Test.

Before moving to Paris to further his studies, he had played for Toulouse. He lived in Wales for a time and played for Newport. He was an outstanding athlete and tennis player.

Pujol was born in Toulouse on 10 May 1883, returned to the southwest as a businessman and died in Luchon on 6 May 1962.

Henri Lacassagne (Stade Bordelais)

Henri Lacassagne was the French scrumhalf in the country's first two Tests. He was from the southwest, playing for Stade Bordelais at the time. Later he played for Nantes.

Lacassagne was a student at the Ecole de Commerce in Bordeaux before going into the haulage business in Nantes. His origins and his end are uncertain. He may well have been born in Bordeaux on 19 October 1886 and killed in action in World War I.

Jacques Duffourcq (Stade Bordelais)

Like Lacassagne, Jacques Duffourcq was playing for Stade Bordelais when chosen to play in the French pack in this first Test and then in another three. In his time Bordeaux became the champions of France four times - in 1904, 1905, 1906 and 1907. He studied in Pau and then in Bordeaux becoming a medical doctor at Salies-de-Béarn, where he was born on 19 August 1881 and died on 31 October 1975.

Noël Cessieux (Lyon)

Noël Cessieux has the honour of scoring France's very first Test try. A forward, he was playing for Lyon at the time but also played for Racing Club de Paris when he was a student at the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce. He later became a timber merchant and then went into politics. He was made cavalier of the Légion d'Honneur in 1939.

Cessieux was born in Andance on 22 December 1879 and died in Valence on 12 July 1948.

Marcel Communeau (Stade Français)

Marcel Communeau was France's first great forward, playing 21 times for his country between 1906 and 1913. He was captain of France in 1911 when for the first time they won a Test, beating Scotland. It was France's only win in his 21 Tests.

Communeau was born in Beauvais on 11 September 1985 and died there on 26 June 1971. He was educated at the Ecole Albert-le-Grand, the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly and the Ecole Central, becoming an engineer and an industrialist. He was awarded a military medal and was made an officer of the Légion d'Honneur.

Allan Henry Muhr (Racing Club de France)

Allan Muhr was an American in Paris, born in Philadelphia and nicknamed Le Sioux. He settled in France and played as a tight forward in this first Test and then against England in both 1906 and 1907.

Remarkably he refereed the finals of the French championship in 1906 and 1907.

He worked as an interpreter and as a journalist and in 1924 was one of the organiser of the Winter Olympics in Chamonix and the Summer Olympics in Paris when rugby was played for the last time at the Games. He stayed in rugby and was a national selector in France and the president of the French Rugby Federation.

During World War II he worked for the US Red Cross. The Nazis deported him to a concentration camp at Neuengamme near Hamburg. He died there on 29 December 1944 of the hunger and the cruelty of the SS guards, one of an estimated 56 000 to die in the came which had been built by the inmates of Sachsenhausen as a satellite camp.

He was a commander of the Légion d'Honneur.

Muhr was born on 23 January 1882.

Georges Jérôme (Stade Français)

Georges Jérôme set up France's try in the first Test and then scored one himself. He played only in the two Tests of 1906. He was the first black player to play for France. After his playing days he became a good referee and a coach of Perigueux and Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

Jérôme was born in Cayenne, French Guiana, on 1 July 1883, not a long way from Caracas, Serge Blanco's birthplace. He was educated at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand and worked for a railway company. He died in Le Bouscat on 16 March 1929.

Albert Branlat (Racing Club de France)

Albert Branlat, a forward, played against New Zealand and England in 1906 and against Wales in 1907.

Branlat was from a respected family in Bas-Médoc. His father was a magistrate in Bordeaux where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He was in Paris as a painter and fashion designer when he played for Racing Club de France and France as a prop - a rare occupation for a prop. He was a fashion designer in Bordeaux and Reunion as well where he ran the Samont fashion house.

He was an officer in World War I.

Branlat was born in Saint-Vivien-de-Médoc on 15 November 1879. He died in 1943 in Mauritius.

Paul Dedeyn (Racing Club de France)

Paul Dedeyn played in just this one Test but a famous one. He was a hooker.

Dedeyn was born on Moulineaux on 11 December 1880, the son of a railway construction engineer. He was educated at Collège Stanislas and then became an engineer.

André Verges (Stade Français)

André Verges was a prop who played three times for France in 1906 and 1907. For the rest he is an unknown.

Louis Dedet

Louis Dedet was the referee of the first Test, kin fact for France's first two Tests. He had played in the Stade Français pack, winning championship medals in 1893, 1894, 1895 and 1901. He was in losing finals in 1892, 1896, 1899 and 1905.

He had just finished playing and impressed the touring All Blacks with his fitness, positional play and application of the laws.

Dedet was born in Paris on 6 March 1875. He was educated at the Sorbonne and became a schoolmaster, ending as the principal of Collège de Normandie. In World War I he was an officer.

He was an honorary president of Stade Français and of the French Rugby Federation.

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Le Corbeau de l'USAP

Le glorieux temps où seules les équipes de Paris étaient admises dans le championnat "de France"...

Et ils ont le culot de compter ces titres dans le total de leurs Brennus ! :wacko:

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Il y a aussi des Bordelais et un Lyonnais dans l'équipe... :wacko:

C'est vrai que l'USAP engrange les Brennus depuis 20 ans, alors que les clubs parisiens on ne les a pas vus durant cette période ! :P:wacko:

(rappel : le RCF est finaliste 87 et champion 90)

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Le glorieux temps où seules les équipes de Paris étaient admises dans le championnat "de France"...

Et ils ont le culot de compter ces titres dans le total de leurs Brennus ! :wacko:

D'un autre coté, il y avait combien d'équipes en France à l'époque ???

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