Rugby League European Championship
The Rugby League European Championship is a rugby league football tournament for European national teams, first held in 1935. The European Cup had three teams, with England and France each playing each other once. Unlike the Tri-Nations series, there was no final. From 1949 to 1956, a fourth Other Nationalities team entered the European Cup. From 2003 to 2009, the tournament featured six teams, including Scotland. Since 2014, the European Cup is contested with four teams and the most recent was held in 2018, it is run by the Rugby League European Federation. The tournament was played annually, with the exception of the years of the Second World War. In 1946–47, the tournament was altered, with each team playing each other twice, at home and away; the 1949–50 season saw a return to playing only once, but a new team, "Other Nationalities", was added. This team consisted of players who were not English, Welsh, or French playing in the British and French leagues: Australian, New Zealand, Irish players, others all played for this new side.
The 1955–56 tournament had no Welsh team, though Welsh players featured for Other Nationalities. The tournament was not played again until 1969–70, it was revived in 1975, with the three-team format of England and France playing each other team only once being made standard. The tournament was cancelled after 1981, but it was revived under the same format for 1995 and 1996; the tournament was revamped for 2003, with Scotland and Russia all joining. The new structure saw two groups of three, with the winner of each group meeting in a final; this structure was continued for the 2004 tournament. From 2004 Scotland and Wales had to have at least four'home grown' players from their domestic competitions in their squad; this means that at least one home grown player is guaranteed a start. The 2005 tournament did not include England as a participant. Georgia won the first European Nations qualifying tournament in 2005, beating both Serbia and the Netherlands to win a spot in the tournament; the 2010 and 2014 tournaments were used to choose the team that compete with Australia, New Zealand and England in the subsequent Four Nations.
Starting in 2018, the tournament is being used as apart of the qualification process for the Rugby League World Cup. List of international rugby league teams Rest of the world Rugby League International Federation
Marseille is the second-largest city of France. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it nowadays is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, it is located on French Riviera coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 and had a population of 852,516 in 2012, its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 is the third-largest in France after Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010. Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Massalia, Marseille was an important European trading centre and remains the main commercial port of the French Republic. Marseille is now France's largest city on the Mediterranean coast and the largest port for commerce and cruise ships; the city was European Capital of Culture in 2013 and European Capital of Sport in 2017. It is home to Aix-Marseille University. Marseille is the second-largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon.
To the east, starting in the small fishing village of Callelongue on the outskirts of Marseille and stretching as far as Cassis, are the Calanques, a rugged coastal area interspersed with small fjord-like inlets. Farther east still are the city of Toulon and the French Riviera. To the north of Marseille, beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m Mont Sainte Victoire. To the west of Marseille is the former artists' colony of l'Estaque; the airport lies to the north west of the city at Marignane on the Étang de Berre. The city's main thoroughfare stretches eastward from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank the entrance to the Old Port—Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north. Farther out in the Bay of Marseille is the Frioul archipelago which comprises four islands, one of which, If, is the location of Château d'If, made famous by the Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo; the main commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at Rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse.
The centre of Marseille has several pedestrianised zones, most notably Rue St Ferréol, Cours Julien near the Music Conservatory, the Cours Honoré-d'Estienne-d'Orves off the Old Port and the area around the Hôtel de Ville. To the south east of central Marseille in the 6th arrondissement are the Prefecture and the monumental fountain of Place Castellane, an important bus and metro interchange. To the south west are the hills of the 7th and 8th arrondissements, dominated by the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde. Marseille's main railway station—Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles—is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement; the city has a hot-summer mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm to hot dry summers. December and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 12 °C during the day and 4 °C at night. July and August are the hottest months, averaging temperatures of around 28–30 °C during the day and 19 °C at night in the Marignane airport but in the city near the sea the average high temperature is 27 °C in July.
Marseille is the sunniest major city in France with over 2,900 hours of sunshine while the average sunshine in country. It is the driest major city with only 512 mm of precipitation annually thanks to the Mistral, a cold, dry wind originating in the Rhône Valley that occurs in winter and spring and which brings clear skies and sunny weather to the region. Less frequent is the Sirocco, a hot, sand-bearing wind, coming from the Sahara Desert. Snowfalls are infrequent; the hottest temperature was 40.6 °C on 26 July 1983 during a great heat wave, the lowest temperature was −14.3 °C on 13 February 1929 during a strong cold wave. Marseille was founded circa 600 BC as the Greek colony of Massalia and populated by settlers from Phocaea, it became the preeminent Greek polis in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state sided with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War, retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa.
However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar's Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar. Marseille continued to prosper as a Roman city, becoming an early center of Christianity during the Western Roman Empire; the city maintained its position as a premier maritime trading hub after its capture by the Visigoths in the 5th century AD, although the city went into decline following the sack of 739 AD by the forces of Charles Martel. It became part of the County of Provence during the 10th century, although its renewed prosperity was curtailed by the Black Death of the 14th century and sack of the city by the Crown of Aragon in 1423; the city's fortunes rebounded with the ambitious building projects of René of Anjou, Count of Proven
The Stade Vélodrome, known as the Orange Vélodrome for sponsorship reasons, is a multi-purpose stadium in Marseille, France. It is home to the Olympique de Marseille football club of Ligue 1 since it opened in 1937, was a venue in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2016, it hosts RC Toulon rugby club of the Top 14. It is the largest club football ground in France, with a capacity of 67,344 spectators; the stadium is used by the France national rugby union team. The record attendance for a club game before renovation at the Stade Vélodrome was 58,897. Since expansion to 67,394, the record attendance at the ground now stands at 65,252 for the match vs rivals PSG that occurred on February 26, 2017; the stadium was featured as a FIFA World Cup venue when the 1938 finals were held in France. The first-ever match to be played was between Marseille and Torino in 1937; the French rugby union team began an impressive run of victories at the stadium in the early 2000s. They defeated New Zealand 42–33 in November 2000, in 2001 defeated Australia by one point.
They beat South Africa in 2002, followed by a win over England in 2003. However, their run of luck was broken in 2004; the venue was used by France for a game against New Zealand in November 2009. In 2018, the stadium hosted its first Six Nations match with France hosting Italy. France is not the only rugby team to have used the Vélodrome in recent years. On 18 April 2009, Toulon took their home fixture in the Top 14 against Toulouse to the Vélodrome, drawing 57,039 spectators to see a 14–6 Toulon win which played a key role in the Toulonnais' successful fight against relegation in the 2008–09 season. Toulon has taken; the Vélodrome was the venue for both semi-finals in the 2010–11 Top 14 season, was used for the Toulon v Munster semi-final of the 2013–14 Heineken Cup. In 1935, the architectural firm Pollack Ploquin was chosen to build a stadium in Marseille. Henri Ploquin designed the stadium. For economic reasons, only the Stade Vélodrome was built. On 28 April 1935, the foundation stone was laid for the Vélodrome by Marseille Mayor Ribot, on a site between downtown and the suburban areas of St. Giniez and Sainte-Marguerite on military grounds belonging to the city.
The Stade Vélodrome opened on 13 June 1937, when a friendly match was played between Olympique Marseille and Italian of Torino FC. On 29 August 1937 a match took place between Cannes; this was the first official match at the stadium. As its name suggests, Stade Vélodrome was used for cycling competitions but as these races became less common, seating replaced the track which circled the stadium; the Vélodrome remained famous for fans of OM since the sloped track, under the extended seating acted as a slide to invade the pitch at the end of matches. OM was long hostile to the Stade Vélodrome, calling it the "stage of the City Council". For fans of the Olympians between the wars, the real home of OM was Stade de l'Huveaune, owned by OM and financed by fans in the early 1920s. After World War II, however, OM no longer owned the Stadium Huveaune. Seeking support from the city, Chairman Marcel Leclerc had OM play at Huveaune from 1945 to 1960; the City Council relented, OM moved to the Vélodrome. During the 1970s, OM shared the Stade with the Marseille XIII Rugby League.
1970 marked the first modifications to the Vélodrome, with the replacement of the floodlights on the Ganay and Jean Bouin tribunes by four 60 meter towers for nighttime events. In March 1971, the capacity of the stadium was increased by nearly 6000 seats, with the reduction of the cycling track and the removal of the cinder running track; this brought the total capacity of the stadium including the standing area. Olympique returned to the Stade de l'Huveaune for the 1982–1983 season as Stade Vélodrome was under construction in preparation for the 1984 European Football Championship; the playing surface was replaced during this time. The semifinal between France and Portugal had set a record for attendance at an international match with 54,848 spectators; the capacity of the stadium was reduced to 42,000 with the construction of lodges. The cycling track was removed altogether once Bernard Tapie was appointed president of OM in 1985, he chose to remove it and rearrange the corners of the stadium, bringing the capacity up to 48,000.
This renovation marked the end of the era of Vélodrome as a multi-use facility. The area around the stadium was transformed with the creation of the second line of the metro which served the stadium from two stations and with the construction of the Palais des Sports nearby; the Stade Vélodrome was renovated for the 1998 World Cup. The Vélodrome hosted the final draw, which took place on 4 December 1997 and seven matches, including France's first match against South Africa, the quarterfinal between Argentina and the Netherlands and the semifinal between Brazil and the Netherlands; as of 2011, the record attendance for a football game was the Newcastle United UEFA Cup semifinal on 6 May 2004. During the 2007 Rugby World Cup the Vélodrome hosted six games, including two quarter-finals: Australia versus England (which holds the overall attendance record with 59,120 sp
Swansea, is a coastal city and county known as the City and County of Swansea in Wales. Swansea lies within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan and the ancient Welsh commote of Gŵyr on the southwest coast; the county area includes the Gower Peninsula. Swansea is the twenty-fifth largest city in the United Kingdom. According to its local council, the City and County of Swansea had a population of 241,300 in 2014; the last official census stated that the city and urban areas combined concluded to be a total of 462,000 in 2011. During the 19th-century industrial heyday, Swansea was the key centre of the copper-smelting industry, earning the nickname Copperopolis. Archaeological finds in the Swansea area come from the Gower Peninsula, include items from the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age; the Romans occupied the area. The two largest rivers in the region are the Tawe which passes through the city centre and the Loughor which marks the northern border with Carmarthenshire; the Welsh name, translates to Mouth of the Tawe.
It first appears c.1150 as Aper Tyui. Swansea is thought to have developed as a Viking trading post, its English name may derive from Sveinn's island – Old Norse: Sveinsey – the reference to an island may refer either to a bank at the mouth of the River Tawe or to an area of raised ground in marshes. An alternative explanation derives the place name from the Norse personal name Sweyn and ey, which can mean "inlet"; this explanation supports the tradition. The name is pronounced Swans-y /ˈswɒnzi/), not Swan-sea; the earliest known form of the modern name, appears in the first charter, granted sometime between 1158 and 1184 by William de Newburgh, 3rd Earl of Warwick. The charter gave Swansea the status of a borough, granting the townsmen certain rights to develop the area. In 1215 King John granted a second charter. A town seal, believed to date from this period names the town as Sweyse. Following the Norman conquest, a marcher lordship was established under the title of Gower, it included land around Swansea Bay as far as the River Tawe, the manor of Kilvey beyond the Tawe, the peninsula itself.
Swansea was designated chief town of the lordship and received a borough charter at some point between 1158 and 1184. From the early 1700s to the late 1800s, Swansea was the world's leading copper-smelting area. Numerous smelters along the River Tawe received copper and other metal ores shipped from Cornwall and Devon, as well as from North and South America and Australia; the industry declined in the late 1800s, none of the smelters are now active. The port of Swansea traded in wine, wool, cloth and in coal. After the invention of the reverbatory furnace in the late 1600s, copper smelting was able to use coal rather than more-expensive charcoal. At the same time, the mines of Cornwall were increasing copper production. Swansea became the ideal place to smelt the Cornish copper ores, being close to the coalfields of South Wales and having an excellent port to receive ships carrying Cornish copper ore; because each ton of copper ore smelted used about three tons of coal, it was more economical to ship the copper ore to Wales rather than send the coal to Cornwall.
The first copper smelter at Swansea was established followed by many more. Once smelting was established, the smelters began receiving high-grade ore and ore concentrates from around the world. More coal mines opened to meet demand from northeast Gower to Llangyfelach. In the 1850s Swansea had more than 600 furnaces, a fleet of 500 oceangoing ships carrying out Welsh coal and bringing back metal ore from around the world. At that time most of the copper matte produced in the United States was sent to Swansea for refining.. Smelters processed arsenic, zinc and other metals. Nearby factories produced pottery; the Swansea smelters became so adept at recovering gold and silver from complex ores that in the 1800s they received ore concentrates from the United States, for example from Arizona in the 1850s, Colorado in the 1860s. The city expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries, was termed "Copperopolis". From the late 17th century to 1801, Swansea's population grew by 500%—the first official census indicated that, with 6,099 inhabitants, Swansea had become larger than Glamorgan's county town and was the second most populous town in Wales behind Merthyr Tydfil.
However, the census understated Swansea's true size, as much of the built-up area lay outside the contemporary boundaries of the borough. Swansea's population was overtaken by Merthyr in 1821 and by Cardiff in 1881, although in the latter year Swansea once again surpassed Merthyr. Much of Swansea's growth was due to migration from within and beyond Wales—in 1881 more than a third of the borough's population had been born outside Swansea and Glamorgan, just under a quarter outside Wales. Copper smelting at Swansea declined in the late 1800s for a number of reasons. Copper mining in Cornwall declined; the price of copper dropped from £112 in 1860 to £35 in the 1890s. In the early 1900s, mining shifted to lower-grade copper deposits in North and South America, the lower-grade ore could not support transportation to Swansea; the Swansea and Mumbles Railway was built in 1804 to move limestone from
Wigan is a town in Greater Manchester, England, on the River Douglas, 10 miles south-west of Bolton, 12 miles north of Warrington and 17 miles west-northwest of Manchester. Wigan is the largest settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and is its administrative centre; the town has a population of 103,608, whilst the wider borough has a population of 318,100. In Lancashire, Wigan during classical antiquity was in the territory of the Brigantes, an ancient Celtic tribe that ruled much of what is now northern England; the Brigantes were subjugated in the Roman conquest of Britain during the 1st century, it is asserted that the Roman settlement of Coccium was established where Wigan lies. Wigan is believed to have been incorporated as a borough in 1246 following the issue of a charter by King Henry III of England. At the end of the Middle Ages, it was one of four boroughs in Lancashire established by Royal charter. During the Industrial Revolution Wigan experienced dramatic economic expansion and a rapid rise in population.
Although porcelain manufacture and clock making had been major industries, Wigan became known as a major mill town and coal mining district. A coal mine was recorded in 1450 and at its peak, there were 1,000 pit shafts within 5 miles of the town centre. Mining was so extensive that a town councillor remarked that "a coal mine in the backyard was not uncommon in Wigan". Coal mining ceased during the latter part of the 20th century. Wigan Pier, a wharf on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, was made famous by the writer George Orwell. In his book, The Road to Wigan Pier, Orwell highlighted the poor working and living conditions of the inhabitants during the 1930s. Following the decline of heavy industry in the region, Wigan Pier's warehouses and wharves became a local heritage centre and cultural quarter; the DW Stadium is home to Wigan Athletic Football Club and Wigan Warriors Rugby League Football Club. The name Wigan has been dated to at least the 7th century and originally meant a "village" or "settlement".
It has been suggested that the name is Celtic, named after a person called Wigan, a name corresponding to Gaulish Vicanus, Old Welsh Uuicant or Old Breton Uuicon. This may have been linked with Tre to give an original name of Trewigan. Derivation from Brittonic *wig,'dwelling', plus the nominal suffix -an has been suggested; the name of the town has been recorded variously as Wigan in 1199, Wygayn in 1240, Wygan in numerous historical documents. There is little evidence of prehistoric activity in the area pre-Iron Age; the first people believed to have settled in the Wigan area were the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe who controlled most of northern Britain. In the 1st century, the area was conquered by the Romans; the late 2nd-century Antonine Itinerary mentions a Roman settlement called Coccium 17 miles from the Roman fort at Manchester and 20 miles from the fort at Ribchester. Although the distances are out, it has been assumed that Coccium is Roman Wigan. Possible derivations of Coccium include from the Latin coccum, meaning "scarlet in colour, scarlet cloth", or from cocus, meaning "cook".
Over the years chance finds provided clear indications that a Roman settlement existed at Wigan, although its size and status remained unknown. In 2005 investigations ahead of the Grand Arcade development, in 2008 at the Joint Service Centre development, have proven that Wigan was a significant Roman site in the late first and second centuries AD; the excavated remains of ditches at Ship Yard off Millgate were consistent with use by the Roman military and formed part of the defences for a fort or a temporary camp. More remains were excavated to the south, in the area of McEwen's Yard, where foundations of a large and important building were discovered, together with many other Roman features; the building is 36 by 18 metres in size with a tiled roof. It contained around ten rooms including three with hypocausts, it had a colonnaded portico on the northern side, which formed the main entrance. The structure's ground-plan and the presence of the hypocausts show. A timber building excavated at the Joint Service Centre has been interpreted as a barrack block.
This suggests a Roman fort occupied the crest of the hill, taking advantage of the strategic position overlooking the River Douglas. The evidence gained from these excavations shows that Wigan was an important Roman settlement, was certainly the place referred to as Coccium in the Antonine Itinerary. In the Anglo-Saxon period, the area was under the control of the Northumbrians and the Mercians. In the early 10th century there was an influx of Scandinavians expelled from Ireland; this can be seen in place names such as Scholes—now a part of Wigan—which derives from the Scandinavian skali meaning "hut". Further evidence comes from some street names in Wigan. Although Wigan is not mentioned in the Domesday Book because it was included in the Neweton barony, it is thought that the mention of a church in the manor of Neweton is Wigan Parish Church; the rectors of the parish church were lords of the manor of Wigan, a sub-manor of Neweton, until the 19th century. Wigan was incorporated as a borough in 1246 following the issue of a charter by King Henry III to John Maunsell, the local church rector and lord of th
Ireland men's national rugby league team
The Ireland men's national rugby league team, known as the Wolfhounds, is organised by Rugby League Ireland. The representative team is dominated by players from the Super League and sometimes includes players from the Australasian National Rugby League. Ireland is represented by an Ireland A side, made up of players from the domestic Irish competition. Since Ireland began competing in international rugby league in 1995, it has participated in the 1995 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament, the 1996 Super League World Nines, three Rugby League World Cups – 2000, 2008 and 2013, they have competed in the Rugby League European Nations Cup and Victory Cup. Ireland A compete in the St Patrick's Day Challenge in the Amateur Four Nations. Irish players have in the past been selected to play for the Great Britain side, one recent example being Cork-born Brian Carney. However, since the Great Britain team was split into individual nations in 2007, it is unlikely that this situation will arise again.
The seeds of modern-day Rugby League in Ireland were sown in 1989 when Brian Corrigan founded the Dublin Blues, a club, used by union players to keep fit during the summer by playing matches against touring British teams. In 1995 the British RFL established Ireland's first development officer and that year Ireland played against the United States in Washington on St Patricks Day with Ireland winning 24-22. Wigan Warriors player Joe Lydon came on as a substitute despite him being there as manager. Huddersfield Giants coach Terry Flanagan and former Great Britain international Niel Wood were the joint coaches. In August 1996 Ireland beat Scotland at the RDS Arena in Dublin as a curtain raiser to the charity shield match between Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors. Former Great Britain player Des Foy played for Ireland. Following their appearance at the 1995 Emerging Nations Tournament they were invited to the Super League World Nines in Fiji where they finished 8th. Prior to the tournament Ireland played a game of touch rugby against Australia in Fiji's National Stadium on 20 February going down 12-20.
That year Ireland returned to the USA to play in the St Patrick's Day match winning 14-12 The Irish rugby league team is one of many Irish teams that draws its players from across the island of Ireland, it utilises the Four Provinces Flag of Ireland and the anthem "Ireland's Call". Ireland were included in the tournament held in England and were placed in Group 2 alongside Moldova and Morocco. Ireland beat Moldova 48-24 before beating Morocco 42-6 to progress to the final. Gigg Lane in Bury was the venue for the final against Cook Islands but Ireland lost 6-22. Coached by Terry Flanagan, Ireland's squad included professionals Des Foy and Martin Crompton in an otherwise domestic based squad 1997 saw more England-based Super League players making themselves available by use of the grandparent rule; the Irish team improved its standards but this development gave less opportunity for Irish-based players to get a chance to play. However, Irish-based players were included in the Irish squad for the triangular tournaments in 1998 against France and Scotland and 1999 against Scotland and Wales.
Their success was enough to earn a place in the 2000 World Cup. Finishing top of their group, the Irish lost 26–16 to England in the quarter-finals, but the performance set the scene for future developments in Ireland. Ireland were drawn against Lebanon and Russia in Europe's 2008 Rugby League World Cup Qualifying Pool Two. Ireland topped the group with a 16–16 draw with Lebanon at Dewsbury on 2 November 2007; the draw meant Ireland qualified for the 2008 World Cup on points difference from Lebanon as both nations gained the same number of group points. At the 2008 World Cup in Australia, Ireland were in Group C along with Samoa, they lost to Tonga on 27 October in Parramatta, but were victorious against Samoa, again in Parramatta, on 5 November and topped the group on points difference. As the group winners, they played Fiji, winners of Group B, for a chance to qualify for the semi-final. Fiji won so Ireland were eliminated. For the 2013 World Cup being staged in England, Wales and Ireland. Ireland have been drawn in group A alongside England and 2008 World Cup rivals Fiji.
Ireland have been granted automatic entry to the tournament due to their strong showing in the 2008 World Cup Mark Aston the head coach and driving force behind the Sheffield Eagles as been confirmed as the head coach of Rugby League Ireland. His appointment was announced at a press conference in Sheffield on Tuesday 24 May 2011 and he is confirmed in the role for the World Cup in 2013. Ireland kicked off their campaign with a shock 36-12 win over Italy in Cairns. In the next pool match Ireland lost a narrow match to PNG 14-6 with PNG needing a 78th minute try to win the game. Ireland's final pool match was against Wales in Perth where they ran out comfortable winners 34-6. Ireland did not progress to the next round of the tournament despite winning more games than Lebanon or Samoa who qualified for the last 8; the following tournaments is a list of notable international competitions that Ireland has been competing in since their existence in 1995. A red box around the year indicates tournaments played within Ireland Squad selected for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers.
St. Helen's Rugby and Cricket Ground
St Helen's Rugby and Cricket Ground is a sports venue in Swansea, Wales and operated by the City and County of Swansea Council. Used for rugby union and cricket, it has been the home ground of Swansea RFC and Swansea Cricket Club since it opened in 1873. In rugby union, St Helen's was the venue for the first home match of the Wales national team in 1882, it continued to be used by Wales for the Five Nations Championship, until 1954, but has staged only one full international since, in 1997. More the ground has been used by the Wales women's team. Glamorgan County Cricket Club have used St Helen's as an outground since 1921; the ground has staged two One Day Internationals: England against New Zealand in 1973, a 1983 World Cup match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. St. Helen's was the location of Sir Garfield Sobers's six sixes in a single over in first-class cricket, the maximum possible runs in a single over, the first time it had been done. St Helen's has staged international matches in two other sports.
In rugby league, Wales played thirteen matches at the ground between 1945 and 1978, two of which were part of the 1975 World Cup tournament. A football international between Wales and Ireland took place at St Helen's in 1894. Since the ground opened in 1873 it has been the home of the Swansea Rugby Football Club, the Swansea Cricket Club. On 19 June 1928 the ground was the venue of a mile race, for Swansea Grammar School's Sports Day, won by a teenage Dylan Thomas. In 2005, the venue could hold an audience of 10,500 seated; the famous east stand, which had provided cloisters over part of Oystermouth Road, has since been demolished and replaced with a metallic stand unloved by locals. The tallest flood light stand in Europe is in St. Helen's Ground. In late November 2007, the ground's perimeter wall in the South East corner, next to Mumbles Road and Gorse Lane, was knocked down and a new wall built further inside the ground, in similar style to the old wall; this was to accommodate a new car park with 39 spaces for the Patti Pavilion.
The first home international in the history of Welsh rugby was played at St Helen's on 16 December 1882, against England. The ground was the scene of New Zealand's first victory over Wales in 1924. On 10 April 1954, St. Helen's staged its last international until a Test match between Wales and Tonga was played at the ground in 1997; the decision to abandon Swansea as an international rugby union venue in the 1950s was prompted by overstretch of what was a 50,000-capacity ground. Swansea Corporation discussed raising the capacity to 70,000 or 82,000, but wartime bomb damage inflicted on the city forced a revision of building priorities. However, the ground has been used to host three Welsh women's internationals; the first women's international at Swansea was in April 1999 against England, the most recent was in November 2009 when Wales defeated Sweden 56-7. Swansea RFC defeated New Zealand 11-3 at St Helen's on 28 September 1935, becoming the first club side to beat the All Blacks. Swansea defeated world champions Australia 21-6 in November 1992, when Australia played their first match of their Welsh Tour.
Between 1919 and 1952, St Helen's was the home of Swansea Uplands RFC until the club sought its new home in Upper Killay. During the 1975 Rugby League World Cup, Australia defeated Wales 18-6 in front of 11,112 fans; the two sides again played at Swansea as part of the 1978 Kangaroo tour with the Kangaroos winning 8-3 before a crowd of 4,250. List of international rugby league matches played at St Helen's. List of Wales International football matches played at St Helen's, it was in this ground in 1968 that Sir Garfield Sobers hit the first six sixes in one over in First-Class cricket. Sobers was playing as captain of Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan; as part of their commitment to the entire country of Wales, Glamorgan County Cricket Club play some of their home matches at St Helen's, as well as their regular home ground, SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff, Penrhyn Avenue in Rhos-on-Sea. Wales Minor Counties Cricket Club, who have played minor counties cricket since 1988, use the ground as a home base.
They are the only non-English team in the Minor Counties Championship. A single ODI century has been scored at the venue. Cricinfo: St Helen's Glamorgan Cricket Club: St Helen's Cricket Archive: St Helen's