IRB Hall of Fame
The IRB Hall of Fame induction process is controlled by a six-strong panel of well-known rugby media personalities: Don Cameron of New Zealand, Gerald Davies of Wales, Henri Garcia of France, Norman Mair of Scotland, Pablo Mamone of Argentina and Nigel Starmer-Smith of England. The secretary of the Induction Panel is the IRB Archives manager Chris Thau.
Donald ‘Don’ CAMERON - Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1933, he attended Christian Brothers Colleges at Dunedin, Auckland and Oamaru. He joined the New Zealand Herald as a 16-year-old in 1950 and retired in 1998 as one of the world’s most respected rugby writers and commentators. He describes himself as “of modest sporting ability, but avid follower of many sports, especially rugby, cricket, yachting and billiards”. He reported on cricket between 1960-1998 and was the cricket correspondent of the NZ Herald for 30 years (1960-90) and covered first class rugby for the newspaper for 47 years (1951-98), of which 13 (1977-90) were as rugby correspondent. Covered New Zealand rugby tours to France (three times), England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland (twice each), Australia frequently, Fiji, South Africa (Cavaliers tour 1986), Romania, Italy, United States and Canada. He wrote several books including Caribbean Crusade (1972), Goodbye to Glory (1979), Rugby Triumphant (1980), Barbed-Wire Boks (1981), On the Lions’ Trail (l983). Over the years he acted in freelance capacity for The Times, Daily Telegraph, Wisden, Rugby World and Post magazine and lately for Rugby News (NZ).
Thomas Gerald Reames DAVIES CBE, MA, DL - Born in Llansaint, Wales on February 7, 1945. One of the Game’s all time greats, he commenced playing for Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Carmarthen, then for Loughborough College (where he qualified as a teacher), Cambridge University (at Emmanuel College where he took his MA in literature), Wales Secondary Schools, Kidwelly, Llanelli, Cardiff, London Welsh, Barbarians, Wales (centre then wing three-quarter winning 46 caps between 1966-78), Lions (1968 to South Africa one cap; 1971 to New Zealand and Australia 4 caps). He was awarded a CBE on January 1, 2003. A Schoolmaster, then columnist for the London Times, he also worked for the Sports Council for Wales, was on the board and chaired the commercial TV channel HTV in Wales. He is a Director on the Board of WRU and is a member of the IRB Council. He is Chairman of Wales Youth Agency, a fellow of several Universities (Aberystwyth, Lampeter, Newport and of North East Wales Institute, Wrexham), has got a Doctorate from University of Glamorgan, is Deputy Lord Lieutenant Of Gwent, Member of the Eisteddfod Gorsedd of Bards and Chairman of the Cardiff Business Club 2006. He has been appointed manager of the 2009 British and Irish Lions to South Africa. He has written several books including his autobiography and the history of Rugby World Cup.
Henri GARCIA - Born on August 24, 1928 in Tolosa, Spain, he went to College Paul Lapie in Courbevoie, then to Lycée Condorcet in Paris. Started in journalism immediately after the Liberation of Paris working for Combat, a newspaper published by the Resistance movement and edited by the legendary Albert Camus, a future Nobel Prize for literature winner. Joined l’Equipe newspaper in 1949 and retired in 1993 as Editor and Director. Awarded the National Order of Merit with the rank of Chevalier, he is also a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (arts and letters), a winner of the Grand Prix for sports literature, Journalist award for the French Sports Academy, the “Fair play award” of the Association for a sport without violence, gold medals of the French Olympic Committee and the Association of Sports journalists. A prolific author and rugby historian he wrote several books, including the memorable “La Fabuleuse histoire du Rugby”, “Rugby Champagne”, “Les contes du rugby”, “Le Rugby”, “15 Coqs en colère” (with Denis Lalanne), “Au soleil du rugby” (with Roger Couderc), “Les grandes équipes françaises de rugby”, “Rugby. Technique, tactique, entraînement” (written with Jacques Fouroux), “Seigneurs et forçats du rugby”, “La légende du rugby”, “La légende du Tournoi” and most recently edited Marcel Martin’s “La Coupe du Monde de rugby”.
Norman George Robertson MAIR – BL. MBE. Born in Edinburgh on October 7, 1928, he played for and captained Merchiston Castle School. He also played for Edinburgh Academy and University, Melrose and Scotland. He was selected by Scottish Schools against their English counterparts for two consecutive seasons and captained Edinburgh University and Scottish Universities. He captained Edinburgh, ‘Edinburgh and Glasgow’ against the 1953-54 All Blacks and the South of Scotland. He won four Scotland caps as hooker in 1951. He also played cricket for Scotland in 1952. On retiring from active rugby in 1958 he coached and gave assorted talks on the game in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. He coached Oxford University for their 1964 Varsity match which they won 19-6. A journalist mainly for The Scotsman, he was the Scottish sports writer of the year six times in 10 years. He contributed to a number of Fleet Street newspapers, including the Sunday Times. In 1999 he became a member of a five-strong panel set up under Lord Mackay of Clashfern to undertake a study into the structure and governance of Scottish rugby. Wrote 'The Year of the Thistle' (Scotland Grand Slam 83-84) and Rugby Partnership (Roy Laidlaw and John Rutherford).
Pablo MAMONE - Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 27, 1965. He played rugby for the San Carlos club in Buenos Aires, but it was rugby journalism where he reached the higher echelons of the game. A “thinking prop of no particular claim to fame” as he described himself, he became the rugby correspondent for the leading Argentine newspapers Clarin and El Cronista. He was the editor of Argentine rugby magazine Test Match and contributed to a number of rugby publications and newspapers of the likes of Tiempo Argentino, La Nación, El Gráfico and Midi Olympique (France). He covered the last five RWC tournaments and several Pumas tours. He has developed an interest in television and became a rugby producer of ESPN television between 1993 and 2000. In his current role as ESPN Vice-President he is responsible for the rugby content of the South American channel.
Nigel Christopher STARMER-SMITH - Born in Cheltenham on Christmas Day 1944, he was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford and University College, Oxford. He played scrum half for Oxford University 1965-66 and for Harlequins, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Barbarians and England (7 caps at scrum half 1969-71). Schoolmaster at Epsom College before joining BBC as a producer in Radio Outside Broadcasts. Joined BBC TV in 1973 as commentator (and for many years also presenter of Rugby Special ), attending every Rugby World Cup to date (either for BBC or ITV) and seven Lions tours. Has also commented on many other sports from water-skiing and volleyball to ice hockey and squash, but principally hockey, including five Olympic Games. He joined the IRB as consultant/commentator in 2002 and has since attended every round of the IRB World Sevens Series and all IRB junior and Women's Rugby World Championship and Cup events. Also currently freelance TV rugby commentator for Eurosport and Setanta. Formerly editor and publisher of Rugby Post and Rugby World & Post magazines for 16 years, and author of books on rugby, including the official history of the Barbarians. A governor of Shiplake College and Trustee of Reading and District Hospitals Charity.
Chris THAU – The Secretary of the IRB Hall of Fame. After a long career in Radio and Television (Romanian TV, BBC World Service radio and BBC Television) he joined the IRB in 1993 as Media Manager. He is now working for the IRB Archives and Museum of Rugby. He covered all RWC tournaments to date, the first two as working journalist for The Times, the Rugby World and Post magazine and The Scotsman, and since 1995 in various roles in media accreditation, facilities and management. He has edited several magazines, including the RWC monthly ‘Kick Off’ and the IRB magazines ‘The Oval World’, ‘The World of Rugby’ and ‘Total Rugby’, and the ‘Road to RWC07’.