Rugby and Apartheid

Anti-apartheid protestor

A documentary about the history of South Africa v New Zealand international rugby matches and how apartheid affected this.

To give a bit of background to this and a more global perspective, sport played quite a big role in the anti-apartheid movement. In the UK, cricket and rugby tours by South African teams had mass protests directed at them and (as you see the in documentary) this happened in NZ too.

Many countries boycotted sporting relations with South Africa, with them being banned from participating in the Olympics in 1962 and and the 1976 NZ rugby tour of South Africa caused 28 African countries to boycott the Montreal Olympics after the IOC refused to ban NZ from the Olympics.

There were a handful of players who went against the general pro-establishment ethos of rugby union and did not participate in tours of South Africa. Some of the NZ players are mentioned in the documentary but one notable British Lions player that boycotted a tour was John Taylor (for those who don't know, Lions tours are something that happen only once every 4 years and are a massive part of the rugby union tradition). This caused Brigadier Glyn Hughes (a rugby enthusiast but like many a complete cunt) to comment "He's not playing. The man's a Communist!"


Posted By

Jan 16 2012 10:20


Attached files


working class s...
Jan 16 2012 16:04

Very interesting, nice one.

May 31 2012 08:57

As a wee anecdote, I got arrested with 100 others in Aberdeen after running onto the pitch during a Springboks match in 1969. We all got a night in the cells (and had a ball!) filling them completely. Others arrested after us were bussed down to the beach and dumped so they had to walk back, arriving after the game's end. We in the cells were charged with breach of the peace, and later were each fined £15 - a lot of money then. One of us who used to work for the NME had the bright idea of phoning them to get John Lennon's New York phone number, phoned and left a message with his office. A week later a cheque for £1,500 arrived.

Jan 16 2012 17:34

That's wicked, Shug.

Jan 16 2012 22:31

Nice story Shug!

Jan 17 2012 11:48

Speaking of rugby, has anyone read Rugby's Class War: Bans, Boot Money and Parliamentary Battles? I've heard it's pretty good.

Jan 18 2012 02:37

That's quality shug, thanks for sharing!

I'll have a look into that flaneur, thanks for the recommendation.