Cape Town rugby ground and Table Mountain 1891 ! a wonderful picture of the first English side to tour to South Africa... (larger pic here)
These days, I am exchanging some mails about old rugby books with a gentleman in South Africa... it led me to re-open this fantastic "Football - The Rugby Union Game" by Rev.F.Marshall published in 1892 (500 pages like this... or that...)
It also gave me the opportunity to learn where the "Currie Cup" comes from (disclaimer : I'm French !) .. I let Rev.F.Marshall explain the whole story... :
"the [English] team sailed from Southampton in the Dunottar Castle on September 20th, 1891, their captain W.E.Maclagan taking with him a handsome silver cup presented by Sir Donald Currie, and entrusted to W.E.Maclagan to be presented by him to the colonial club doing the best against the English team ; the cup to be held by the winning team until the next season, and then to be competed for by the clubs of South Africa"
"The best teams were undoubtedly the Western Provinces, played at Cape Town ; the Griqualand West (to whom the "Currie" Cup was given) at Kimberley"
"On most of the grounds the grass was almost entirely burnt by the sun, this being especially the case at Kimberley, which was very bad, there being absolutely no grass at all."
Middle picture shows The Cape team (larger pic with the name of the players here), whereas lower picture shows the kick off of the game played by the tourist vs South Africa in Kimberley (larger pic here).
The English side was captained by W.E.Maclagan, London Scottish and Scottish international.
19 matches played, 19 won... only one try against (vs Cape Town)
"the South African played a very hard game, espcially forward, and on several occasions taxed the powers of the English forwards to the utmost, but they failed in the science of the game. [...] Towards the end of the tour they had very much improved, and in the course of the year or two will in all probability play a first-class game."
Right ! do my English friends remember last Rugby World Cup...??