So the summer is coming to an end, the evenings are drawing in, the easy traffic in the morning is about to change as the schools re-open, Halloween items are on display and Christmas Parties are being planned…..and what that all means is the Classic is on the horizon.
Not those other events which have to have the word “Classic” in the title but the real McCoy, the World Rugby Classic.
Now it is time to start making arrangements because, believe it or not, THE Classic starts in just over nine weeks time.
“Tempus” it would appear has “fugit”!
This year we will be celebrating the 25thAnniversary of the first World Rugby Classic which was held at the National Sports Club (now Somersfield Academy) from the 11thto the 19thNovember 1988.
Teams representing England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the USA and Bermuda took part with Wales emerging as the first winners.
The former National Sports Club has a wonderful rugby history as some of the worlds’ greatest players are listed amongst the numerous internationals who played there in the Easter Classic from 1972 to 1992 and in the World Rugby Classic from 1988 to 2000.
The recent Lions’Tour to Australia brought backmanymemories as both Robbie Deans, the Australian Coach, and Warren Gatland, the Lions’ Coach, played in the World Rugby Classic while Lions Captains, Tom Kiernan (1967) , Willie John McBride (1974) and Ciaran Fitzgerald (1983) played in the Easter Classic and Gavin Hastings (1993) played in the World Rugby Classic.
Overall 98 British & Irish Lions have played in the two Classics.
Willie John, who continues to visit Bermuda as President of the Classic Lions, still holds the record (80) for most appearances for the Lions.
And so to this year which sees Australia returning to defend its title along with Argentina, Canada, the Classic Lions, France, Italy, South Africa and the USA from the 9thto the 16thNovember.