Saturday, 29 March 2008

Cornwall 17 Durham 3 (1908)

This weekend marks an important anniversary that I could not let pass without comment on my blog.

One hundred years ago, over 17,000 people crammed into the Recreation Ground at Redruth to watch Cornwall beat Durham by 17 points to 3 to win the rugby county championship (28th March 1908). As champions, the Cornwall team was then invited to represent Britain in the 1908 Olympics – losing to Australia in the final.

It is my understanding that the Barbarians have invited the Australian rugby team, who will be touring Britain this Autumn, to play a game at Wembley to mark the anniversary of the Olympic final in December.

The successes of Cornwall’s team in their black and gold have always been an important part of Cornwall’s national identity, but sadly the opportunities for representative rugby in Cornwall are now very limited following the advent of professionalism in the sport.

As a Cornish nationalist and keen rugby follower however, it remains my hope that we will win greater political recognition for the historic nation of Cornwall and our national team in black and gold will be able to represent Cornwall on a greater stage.

That said, if the Barbarians game does get the go-ahead this year, I see no reason why the team should not be made up of the best rugby players that Cornwall has produced to properly mark the Olympic anniversary.

For information, the above photograph is from the recent Tamar Cup (Cornwall v Devon) game at Polson Bridge which we won 10-7.

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