100 years ago, Aviron Bayonnais (Bayonne) became French Champion for the first time of its short history.
That day, April 20th 1913, the team led by its captain Fernand Forgues and its Welsh playmaker Harry Owen Roe crushed its Parisian opponent SCUF 31-8 (detailed stats at finalesrugby.com - thank you Eric and David) showing 'stunning brio, amazing audacity and, most of all, staggering skill' as Racing Club de France captain Gaston Lane put it...
Please read Huw Richards' excellent article on espnscrum.com about how the players from Bayonne managed to blend the best of Welsh rugby tactics with their native Basque skills,
As Huw explains: "It was, in other words, a foretaste of the way the best French players and teams were to amaze and alarm opposing players and fans over the next century - far from the only French tradition, but the one for which they have been most recognised and admired."
The early days of Aviron Bayonnais, Forgues, Roe etc... are one of my favorite topics already discussed here ("La Methode Bayonnaise") or there ("The Welshmen from France", "Aviron Bayonnais 1914") over the past five years or so...
So here's another portfolio of pictures to celebrate this 100th anniversary!
News magazine "Le Monde Illustré" brings superlative comments about the Basque team (sorry, in French!) (large pic)
Here are the players as portayed in "Plein Air" the week before (April 19th)
Some team postcards of Aviron Bayonnais:
I like this last card very much... signed by Fernand Forgues on the front and by the all team on the back... nice memorabilia!