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WALES' GREATEST WORLD CUP MATCHES 1/3

26th September 2017, 10:05

WALES' GREATEST WORLD CUP MATCHES 1/3

In just over a month's time, we'll be kicking off our fifth World Cup finals campaign. Below is the first in a series of three articles where we look at our biggest ever World Cup matches.

On June 10 1975, Wales beat England 12-7 in a win that would eventually go a long way to preventing England from winning the World Cup.

The 1975 World Championship, as it was known as that year, made history with Great Britain being split into England and Wales for the first time, joining Australia, New Zealand and France playing each other home and away on both sides of the world for a total of eight fixtures each.

The tournament kicked off on March 2 and finished on November 6, the title being decided on league placings. Australia topped the table, one point ahead of England with Wales taking third place.

The Sydney Morning Herald report of the match

The infamous England v Wales match took place at Lang Park in Brisbane. David Treasure and the late Clive Sullivan scored tries for Wales that day with David Watkins kicking three goals. Tommy Martyn replied for England with their only try with Scottish born George Fairbairn, who now works for the RFL as a match commissioner, kicking two goals.

Five years before State of Origin started, this “Battle of Brisbane” was a British precursor to the type of matches that Lang Park, now known as Suncorp Stadium, would see over the years and in his biography, “Big Jim”, Jim Mills remembers the game well.

Mills said: “It was one of those games, playing against team-mates and friends for your country. Alex Murphy had been on television the night before and when asked about the Welsh team, he said that none of them are good enough to get into the England team. That set the match up when he said that, everyone was a bit bitter.

“It was a violent game and Mick Morgan, the England hooker, was knocked unconscious and was carried off on three occasions. There were a lot of bust ups, it was a hard fought game and the Aussie enjoyed it. They were playing us the following weekend but we didn’t get a chance to recover and were still tired. If we hadn’t beaten England, they would have won the World Championship.

“They were red hot favourites in Brisbane and it was one of the toughest games I played purely from the fact I was playing against some Widnes team-mates in the England side. There were friends of mine who didn’t speak to me for a long time after that match.”

England and Wales have still never won the Rugby League World Cup as individual nations, only when joining forces as Great Britain in the early years of the tournament.

ENGLAND
1 George FAIRBAIRN
2 Keith FIELDING
3 Derek NOONAN
4 Leslie DYL
5 John ATKINSON
6 Roger MILLWARD (c)
7 Steve NASH
8 Dave CHISNALL
9 Mick MORGAN
10 Mick COULMAN
11 Eric CHISNALL
12 George NICHOLLS
13 Steve NORTON
14 Tommy MARTYN
15 Ken GILL
Coach Alex MURPHY

WALES
1 Bill FRANCIS
2 Clive SULLIVAN
3 David WILLICOMBE
4 David WATKINS (c)
5 Roy MATHIAS
6 David TREASURE
7 Peter BANNER
8 Jim MILLS
9 Tony FISHER
10 Robert WANBON
11 Eddie CUNNINGHAM
12 Colin DIXON
13 Kel COSLETT
14 John MANTLE
15 Frank WILSON
Coach Les PEARCE

 

Wales' group matches at Rugby League World Cup 2017 are as follows:  

DATE

FIXTURE

VENUE

October 28

PAPUA NEW GUINEA V WALES

Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby

November 5

FIJI V WALES

Townsville Stadium 

November 12

WALES V IRELAND

Perth Rectangular Stadium

 

Get behind the lads at the World Cup by purchasing the new replica kit! Visit the online shop HERE.

 

Article by Ian Golden