Toulouse is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 km from Paris, it is the fourth-largest city in France, with 466,297 inhabitants as of January 2014. In France, Toulouse is called the "Pink City"; the Toulouse Metro area, with 1,312,304 inhabitants as of 2014, is France's fourth-largest metropolitan area, after Paris and Marseille, ahead of Lille and Bordeaux. Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, the Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, ATR and the Aerospace Valley, it hosts the European headquarters of Intel and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre, the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, ATR, SAFRAN, Liebherr-Aerospace and Astrium Satellites have a significant presence in Toulouse; the University of Toulouse is one of the oldest in Europe and, with more than 103,000 students, it is the fourth-largest university campus in France, after the universities of Paris and Lille.
The air route between Toulouse–Blagnac and Paris Orly is the busiest in Europe, transporting 2.4 million passengers in 2014. According to the rankings of L'Express and Challenges, Toulouse is the most dynamic French city; the city was the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom in the 5th century and the capital of the province of Languedoc in the Late Middle Ages and early modern period, making it the unofficial capital of the cultural region of Occitania. It is now the capital of the second largest region in Metropolitan France. A city with unique architecture made of pinkish terracotta bricks, which earned it the nickname la Ville Rose, Toulouse counts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Canal du Midi, the Basilica of St. Sernin, the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, designated in 1998 because of its significance to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route. Toulouse is in the south of France, north of the department of Haute-Garonne, on the axis of communication between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The city is traversed by the Canal de Brienne, the Canal du Midi and the rivers Garonne and Hers-Mort. Toulouse has a humid subtropical climate, with too much precipitation in the summer months preventing the city from being classified as a Mediterranean climate zone; the Garonne Valley was a central point for trade between the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic since at least the Iron Age. The historical name of the city, Tolosa, it is of unknown meaning or origin from Aquitanian, or from Iberian, but has been connected to the name of the Gaulish Volcae Tectosages. Tolosa enters the historical period in the 2nd century BC. After the conquest of Gaul, it was developed as a Roman city of Gallia Narbonensis. In the 5th century, Tolosa fell to the Visigothic kingdom and became one of its major cities, in the early 6th century serving as its capital, before it fell to the Franks under Clovis in 507. From this time, Toulouse was the capital of Aquitaine within the Frankish realm. In 721, Duke Odo of Aquitaine defeated an invading Umayyad Muslim army at the Battle of Toulouse.
Odo's victory was a small obstacle to Muslim expansion into Christian Europe, Muslims occupied a large territory including Poitiers. Charles Martel, a decade won the Battle of Tours called the Battle of Poitiers; the Frankish conquest of Septimania followed in the 750s, a quasi-independent County of Toulouse emerged within the Carolingian sub-kingdom of Aquitaine by the late 8th century. The Battle of Toulouse of 844, pitting Charles the Bald against Pepin II of Aquitaine, was key in the Carolingian Civil War. During the Carolingian era, the town rose in status. In the 12th century, consuls took over the running of the town and these proved to be difficult years. In particular, it was a time of religious turmoil. In Toulouse, the Cathars tried to set up a community here, but were routed by Simon de Montfort's troops; the Dominican Order was founded in Toulouse in 1215 by Saint Dominic in this context of struggle against the Cathar heresy. The subsequent arrival of the Inquisition led to a period of religious fervour during which time the Dominican Couvent des Jacobins was founded.
Governed by Raimond II and a group of city nobles, Toulouse's urban boundaries stretched beyond its walls to the north and as far south as Saint Michel. In the Treaty of Paris of 1229, Toulouse formally submitted to the crown of France; the county's sole heiress Joan was engaged to Alphonse, Count of Poitiers, a younger brother of Louis IX of France. The marriage became legal in 1241, but it remained childless so that after Joan's death the county fell to the crown of France by inheritance. In 1229, University of Toulouse was established after the Parisian model, intended as a means to dissolve the heretic movement. Various monastic orders, like the congregation of the order of frères prêcheurs, were started, they found home in Les Jacobins. In parallel, a long period of inquisition began inside the Toulouse walls; the fear of repression obliged the notabilities to convert themselves. The inquisition lasted nearly 4
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
Stade Albert Domec
Stade Albert Domec is a multi-use municipal stadium in Carcassonne, France. It has a capacity of 10,000 spectators, it is the home ground of Pro D2 rugby union club Union Sportive Carcassonnaise and Elite One Championship rugby league club Association Sportive de Carcassonne XIII. It is used by the association football club Football Agglomération Carcassonne for their big matches. Built in 1899, it is one of the oldest stadiums in France, was renovated in 2002, again in 2012 when US Carcassonne entered the Pro D2; the stadium is named after the French rugby union player Albert Domec, who died 20 September 1948, who represented France in 1939. The stadium is equipped for athletics and has an eight lane 400m track; the stadium has been used in Rugby League World Cups. The ground has hosted many French rugby league championship and cup finals as well as French rugby league internationals, the first being in 1967 when Great Britain national rugby league team won 16-13 in front of 10,650 spectators Formerly called'le stade de la Pepiniere' the ground was built and opened in 1899 and sits within the medieval castle walls of the city.
In 1919 the rugby club paid 95,000 francs for the site sold it to the local council a year later. The council built the two main stands that run along the length of the pitch each able to hold 3,000 spectators, floodlights and a cycle track were installed; the stadium has been renovated twice since in 2002 and in 2012. The ground is named after the former US Carcassonne and French rugby union international player Albert Domec who played as a centre during the 1920s and 1930s; the stadium has a bronze statue of AS Carcassonne's most famous player, former captain of the French national rugby league team, Puig Aubert at its entrance. The record attendance at the ground is 23,500 for the French rugby league championship Final in 1949 between AS Carcassonne and Marseille XIII List of rugby league stadiums by capacity List of rugby union stadiums by capacity
Carcassonne is a French fortified city in the department of Aude, in the region of Occitanie. A prefecture, it has a population of about 50,000. Inhabited since the Neolithic period, Carcassonne is located in the Aude plain between historic trade routes, linking the Atlantic to the Mediterranean sea and the Massif Central to the Pyrénées, its strategic importance was recognized by the Romans, who occupied its hilltop until the demise of the Western Roman Empire. In the fifth century, it was taken over by the Visigoths, its strategic location led successive rulers to expand its fortifications until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. Its citadel known as the Cité de Carcassonne, is a medieval fortress dating back to the Gallo-Roman period, was restored by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1853, it was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. Carcassonne relies on tourism but counts manufacturing and wine-making as some of its other key economic sectors. Carcassonne is located in the south of France, about 80 kilometres east of Toulouse.
Its strategic location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea has been known since the neolithic era. The town's area is about 65 km2, larger than the numerous small towns in the department of Aude; the rivers Aude and the Canal du Midi flow through the town. The first signs of settlement in this region have been dated to about 3500 BC, but the hill site of Carsac – a Celtic place-name, retained at other sites in the south – became an important trading place in the 6th century BC; the Volcae Tectosages fortified the oppidum. The folk etymology – involving a châtelaine named Lady Carcas, a ruse ending a siege, the joyous ringing of bells – though memorialized in a neo-Gothic sculpture of Mme. Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gate, is of modern invention; the name can be derived as an augmentative of the name Carcas. Carcassonne became strategically identified when the Romans fortified the hilltop around 100 BC and made the colonia of Julia Carsaco Carcasum; the main part of the lower courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times.
In 462 the Romans ceded Septimania to the Visigothic king Theodoric II who had held Carcassonne since 453. He built more fortifications at Carcassonne, a frontier post on the northern marches. Theodoric is thought to have begun the predecessor of the basilica, now dedicated to Saint Nazaire. In 508 the Visigoths foiled attacks by the Frankish king Clovis. Saracens from Barcelona took Carcassonne in 725, but King Pepin the Short drove them away in 759-60. A medieval fiefdom, the county of Carcassonne, controlled its environs, it was united with the County of Razès. The origins of Carcassonne as a county lie in local representatives of the Visigoths, but the first count known by name is Bello of the time of Charlemagne. Bello founded a dynasty, the Bellonids, which would rule many honores in Septimania and Catalonia for three centuries. In 1067, Carcassonne became the property of Raimond-Bernard Trencavel, viscount of Albi and Nîmes, through his marriage with Ermengard, sister of the last count of Carcassonne.
In the following centuries, the Trencavel family allied in succession either with the counts of Barcelona or of Toulouse. They built the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus. In 1096, Pope Urban II blessed the foundation stones of the new cathedral. Carcassonne became famous for its role in the Albigensian Crusades, when the city was a stronghold of Occitan Cathars. In August 1209 the crusading army of the Papal Legate, Abbot Arnaud Amalric, forced its citizens to surrender. Viscount Raymond-Roger de Trencavel was imprisoned whilst negotiating his city's surrender and died in mysterious circumstances three months in his own dungeon; the people of Carcassonne were allowed to leave – in effect, expelled from their city with nothing more than the shirt on their backs. Simon De Montfort was appointed the new viscount, he added to the fortifications. In 1240, Trencavel's son in vain; the city submitted to the rule of the kingdom of France in 1247. Carcassonne became a border fortress between France and the Crown of Aragon under the Treaty of Corbeil.
King Louis IX founded the new part of the town across the river. He and his successor Philip III built the outer ramparts. Contemporary opinion still considered the fortress impregnable. During the Hundred Years' War, Edward the Black Prince failed to take the city in 1355, although his troops destroyed the Lower Town. In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees transferred the border province of Roussillon to France, Carcassonne's military significance was reduced. Fortifications were abandoned, the city became an economic centre that concentrated on the woollen textile industry, for which a 1723 source quoted by Fernand Braudel found it "the manufacturing centre of Languedoc", it remained so until the Ottoman market collapsed at the end of the eighteenth century, thereafter reverting to a country town. Carcassonne was the first fortress to use hoardings in times of siege. Temporary wooden ramparts would be fitted to the upper walls of the fortress through square holes beneath the rampart itself, it provided protection to defenders on the wall and allowed defenders to go out past the wall to drop projectiles on attackers at the wall
England national rugby league team
The England national rugby league team represents England in international rugby league. The team formed from the Great Britain team which represented Wales and Ireland, is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League, it participates in the Rugby League World Cup, Four Nations and Test matches. The team dates to 1904, when they played against a mixture of Scottish players in Wigan; until the 1950s, they toured Australia and New Zealand and played both home and away matches against neighbours Wales and France, but when it was decided that Great Britain would tour the Southern Hemisphere instead of England and Wales became the only regular opponents. Their first appearance in the Rugby League World Cup was in 1975, they finished runners-up in 1975, 1995 and 2017. England competed in the European Nations Cup and in 2006, an England'A' team competed for the Federation Shield. England's main rivals were Wales and France, with the rivalries stretching back to 1908 and 1934 respectively. England's main rivals now are New Zealand.
Traditionally a predominantly white kit is worn including white socks. However the jersey features some form of red, like red stripes, crosses or chevrons; these colours are similar to other English sporting teams and are the colours used on the national flag. In 2008, a new kit was introduced featuring a red cross on the front and red strips down the sides of the jersey and socks were white too with red strips. In 2008, the Rugby Football League chose to abandon the traditional English lion on the badge in favour of a much simpler shield and cross design; the team is ranked third in the world, behind Australia and New Zealand. Wayne Bennett is the head coach, Sean O'Loughlin the captain. In 1895, twenty-one clubs split with the Rugby Football Union, citing that they wanted to play professionally, formed the Northern Rugby Football Union; the twenty-one clubs were all from Northern England and the players were working class. However it was not just English players who made the switch and Welsh players switched allegiance to the new code, wanting payments for playing.
Switching heightened in the early 20th century with more Scottish and Welsh players leaving the RFU than before. The England national rugby union team had been playing international matches since 1871, but it was not until 1904, nine years after the formation of the new code, that an international rugby league match was played. At the start of 1903 season the Northern Union thought about international matches and scheduled a match for England on New Year's Day 1904 in Oldham. On that day though, the ground was frosty and the match was cancelled and it was rescheduled for April. On 5 April 1904 England competed against a team called "Other Nationalities", who were made up of ten Welshman and two Scotsman, including George Frater, who captained the side, it was a period of experimentation for the Northern Union and each team had twelve players, not thirteen. At Central Park, Wigan the ground was muddy and in poor condition, however the match went ahead. England steamed into a 3–0 lead, from a try by Warrington's Jackie Fish.
This is despite Salford's James Lomas arriving late and causing England to start the match with eleven players. Fish missed the conversion and so the Other Nationalities were able to level the scores a little Welshman Thomas crashing over for a try; the conversion was missed and going into half-time the score was tied 3–3. In the second half Thomas went over for another try before Wigan's Harris sealed a 9–3 win for the Other Nationalities in the final minutes of the match. A total of 6,000 spectators turned up for the match, considered a poor showing despite a Broughton Rangers v Bradford cup clash being scheduled on the same day. In 1905 a match between the two sides was played at Bradford; this time England won 26–11 though they were losing 11–0 at half-time. Wigan's Jim Leytham scored four tries in a record that still stand today; the match was played with fifteen players on each side and so was the 1906 match. Played in Wigan again, the match finished a 3–3 draw; the concept was abandoned after the 1906 match.
By 1908 the game had expanded much more into Australia, New Zealand and Wales and England began playing those teams. Harold Wagstaff made his debut for England in 1908 against the touring Kangaroos team at 17 years and 228 days; the Other Nationalities side did return in 1921. An England side beat the Australasian team of the 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain 4–5 at Highbury. England played only one international between 10 May 1956 and 7 November 1968 an 18–6 victory at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds. England played at the World Cup in 1975 coached by Alex Murphy, played over several months in both hemispheres on a league basis. Great Britain would represent England in the World Cup, but the RLIF wanted to capitalise on the large amount of Welsh players in the game at the time, so England and Wales fielded separate teams. England won a 20 -- 2 victory over France in Leeds in March. In June the Lions suffered their first defeat in just their second match of the tournament, losing 12–7 against a strong Wales side in Brisbane.
A little England managed to hold on for a draw against Australia in Sydney, the final score being 10–10. And they picked up a point in Auckland, drawing 17–17 against New Zealand. At the end of October, after the domestic season had finished, England beat the Welsh 22–16 in Warrington and crossed the English Channel to thrash a French side 48–2 in Bordeaux. Bradford played host the England versus New Zealand match, in which England won comfortably 27–12. At the start of November, England sque
Wales national rugby league team
The Wales national rugby league team represents Wales in international rugby league football matches. The team is ranked ninth in the RLIF World Rankings; the team was run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League, but an independent body, Wales Rugby League, now runs the team from Cardiff. Three Welsh players have been entered into the Rugby League Hall Of Fame; as with other Welsh national sporting teams, Wales strip has been red. However, in the World Cup campaign in 2000 they wore a shirt featuring the Welsh flag, adding a touch of green and white; the team is known as "The Dragons" and so the teams logo on the shirt is a red dragon. The team date back to 1907, making them the third oldest national side after England and New Zealand, it was a touring New Zealand side that Wales first played against in 1908, winning 9–8 at Aberdare. Since Wales have played England, since 1935 France, as well as welcomed the touring Australia and New Zealand teams, although they toured themselves, not playing a match in the Southern Hemisphere until 1975.
For 26 years Wales competed against their two biggest rivals and France, in the European Nations Cup, winning the trophy four times. Wales has competed in the World Cup on five occasions, the first time being in 1975. In 1995 and 2000 they had their most successful tournaments to date, making the Semi-Finals on both occasions before being beaten by England and Australia respectively. Wales failed to qualify for the 2008 World Cup, being the second highest ranked side not to do so, having lost to Scotland on points difference over two matches, they qualified for the 2013 World Cup but failed to win a game, including losing 32–16 to low ranked Italy in their opening game at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In recent seasons, Wales has taken massive strides under former player Iestyn Harris who had coached Wales to back to back European Cup successes, which culminated in a Four Nations appearance in 2011. In 2014 former England and France coach John Kear became the new head coach after Iestyn Harris left the post to concentrate on his new job as head coach at Salford Red Devils.
On 5 April 1904, England played an international match against the "Other Nationalities", a team of Welshmen and Scotsmen, in Wigan. Of the twelve players who played for the Other Nationalities team, as it was a 12-a-side game, ten of them were Welshmen coming from Northern English clubs. At the turn of the century many Welshmen made the switch from rugby union, wanting to be paid for playing, although the numbers switching were increasing, the Northern Union did not think that a Welsh side would be strong enough for England. After 80 minutes however, the Other Nationalities had beaten England 9–3; this team carried on for another two years, playing England annually in 1905 and 1906, losing 26–11 and drawing 3–3 respectively. From 1905 to 1910 Rugby League as a sport enjoyed growth, not just in Wales and England, but on the east coast of Australia and in northern New Zealand; when Albert Henry Baskerville's NZ All Golds with their guest Australian star Dally Messenger arrived in Britain for the inaugural tour by a southern hemisphere side, the first full international was against Wales on New Year's Day 1908.
The Welsh rugby league team were contesting their first national fixture, managed to beat the touring Kiwis 9–8 in Aberdare in front of 20,000 spectators. This was the first international match played under new "Northern Union" rules, which would be changed again, but these rules were a small departure from traditional rugby union rules, used in previous international matches; the New Zealand team, or the "All Golds" as they were being called by the New Zealand newspapers, had never played rugby by these rules before but did have a week of preparation and training sessions leading up to the match. With this Welsh victory and large crowd, Wales played their second fixture in Tonypandy, managed to win that match too recording a 35–18 win against what would soon become their main rival, the England Lions. At the end of 1908 Wales played their third and final fixture of the decade, playing England again, but this time in Broughton, Lancashire; this time they lost 31–7. However, in 1909 another victory was to occur for Welsh Rugby League, with a Welsh League XIII made up of players still playing in Wales beating a touring Australian side 14–13 in Merthyr.
In the years before the outbreak of the war, Wales played England. The two national teams played each other every year, including 1914. Due to Rugby League only extensively being played in the two countries in the whole of the Northern Hemisphere, touring Australia and New Zealand teams were the only chances to play someone different. Although the two matches against the English played in Wales were played in Ebbw Vale in Monmouthshire, the Welsh travelled around England for away matches, playing in Coventry, Plymouth and St. Helens. Collectively those seven matches in Wales and England produced six defeats for the Welsh team, although there were signs of improvement, in the last match in St Helens the Dragons narrowly lost by just four points, the match ending 16–12. On the 7 October 1911 Wales played Australia for the first time; the match, held at Ebbw Vale again, drew 7,000 people to watch Wales go down 20–28. The match was significant though because throughout the next few decades Australia would play the Dragons in Wales whenever they toured Great Britain.
During and after the First World War many sports suffered, rugby league in Wales was no exception, the team didn't play a match again until 1921. After a seven-year hiatus Wales once again played England and continued to
France national rugby league team
The France national rugby league team represent France in international rugby league tournaments. They are referred to as les Chanticleers or less as les Tricolores; the team is run under the auspices of the Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII and is made up of players from Super League and the Elite One Championship. The French rugby league team first played in 1934 on a tour of England, they have taken part in all World Cups, twelve in total, with the first being held in 1954 in France. They have never won the title but finished runners-up in both 1954 and 1968; these are considered the glory years of French rugby league as from the 1950s to the 1970s the team were strong and beat Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. Since those days, les Chanticleers have not done as well, not managing to win a single match in the 1995 World Cup, but doing better in the 2000 World Cup with wins over Tonga and South Africa before losing to eventual finalists, New Zealand. In 2006, the Perpignan based team Catalans Dragons entered Super League Europe, have since produced a number of top-class French players.
Despite improved professionalism, France finished 10th in the 2008 World Cup in Australia. The team reached the quarter-finals of the 2013 World Cup; the team is ranked fifth in the world. In Europe alone they are ranked second, ahead of Ireland and Lebanon, but behind their main rival, England. On New Year's Eve 1933, England and Australia played in Paris – the first game of rugby league football in France; the match was one-sided, with Australia winning 63-13 in front of a crowd of about 5,000, but the seed was sown. French rugby union players, disgruntled that France had been suspended from the Five Nations Championship, formed the "Ligue Francaise de Rugby à XIII" on 6 April 1934. Jean Galia, a former rugby union international and champion boxer, led France on a six-match tour of England in 1934 and they recorded their first win in Kingston upon Hull; the national team's first game was in Paris on 15 April 1934, losing 21-32 to England in front of a crowd of 20,000. By 1939, the French League had 225 clubs and the national side won the 1938–39 European Rugby League Championship where they became the first French team in any sport to beat England at home.
The game of rugby league suffered in France during the Second World War, as administrators within French rugby union worked with the collaborating Vichy regime to have rugby league banned. Some players and officials of the sport were punished, whilst the total assets of the rugby league and its clubs were handed over to the union. After the war the French game was re-established and the French became one of rugby league's major powers, competing in the Rugby League World Cup and in major international series against Great Britain and New Zealand, despite continuing persecution. In 1949, they became the first French sporting team to win at Wembley Stadium. In 1951 France embarked on their first tour of Australasia, coached by Bob Samatan and led by the legendary chain-smoking fullback, Puig Aubert, their flamboyant style of unorthodox attacking rugby attracted huge crowds. When the two nations met for the first Test, the match became the first "all ticket" international to be staged at the Sydney Cricket Ground, attracted a crowd of over 60,000.
On Saturday 30 June 1951, Australia secured a hard-fought second Test victory over France in Brisbane by 23 points to 11. The third Test took place at Sydney Cricket Ground three weeks before a crowd of 67,009. Late tries from Duncan Hall and Brian Davies could not prevent the Kangaroos from suffering an embarrassing 35-14 defeat. France played 28 matches during the three-month tour, winning 21 matches, drawing twice and losing just five times. In November 1951, France met "Other Nationalities" in an International Championship match at the Boulevard, Hull which became known as the "Battle of the Boulevard". Other Nationalities won 17-14 but the match centred on the behaviour of Edouard Ponsinet, involved in most of the violence that happened at the game; the Other Nationalities were down to eleven players at one stage, with Arthur Clues being the most serious casualty, hospitalised with head injuries. Ponsinet was sent off, ten minutes from time after breaking the nose of Jeff Burke. Despite this defeat France went on to retain the title with home victories over Wales.
In the 1954 World Cup, the first of either rugby code and was instigated by France, Les Tricolores defeated both Australia and New Zealand, drew with Great Britain to reach the final. This was the closest they went to getting their hands on the World Cup, going down narrowly, 16-12, to Great Britain in the final in Parc des Princes. France donated the original World Cup trophy. France repeated the success of their 1951 tour in 1955, with bigger attendances greeting the team. Puig Aubert did not tour. Despite this, France played splendidly to win the second test in Brisbane and the third test at the SCG; the 1951 and 1955 French sides that toured Australia are still regarded as two of the strongest sides to tour that country. In the 1957 World Cup, held in Australia, the winner was decided by finishing top of the table with no final being played. France finished winning one match against New Zealand. History was made when the returning French and British squads visited South Africa and played a series of exhibition matches in