IRB Hall of Fame
- Hancock and Cardiff join illustrious list of inductees
- Oxford players Vassall and Rotherham also honoured
- Inductions under the theme innovation and creativity
The International Rugby Board has inducted Cardiff Rugby Football Club and its former captain Frank Hancock into the IRB Hall of Fame.
IRB Council Member for Wales Gerald Davies presented the commemorative cap and gold pin to Cardiff Athletic President Dr Charles Derek Williams at a special ceremony at the club’s museum today to honour the club and its pioneering son whose approach to positional play changed the way the Game was played around the world.
“I am honoured and delighted to be inducting two greats of the Game in Wales, a great club and a great player and captain who significantly contributed to the history and the playing of Rugby, not just in Wales but worldwide. They not only epitomise success and achievement, but innovation and creativity in the development of our sport,” said Davies.
Cardiff RFC, under the captaincy of Somerset-born Hancock, pioneered the revolutionary four-back system (or fourth three-quarter) which was adopted by Wales during the 1885 international season and later by the rest of the world as the standard approach to three-quarter positional play.
Under Hancock’s inspirational leadership and Cardiff’s new style of Rugby, the club went on to become one of the most successful of the era, winning all but one of its matches in 1885/86 by scoring more tries than the opposition as was the requirement at the time.
Cardiff RFC and Hancock join an illustrious list of members who have been inducted into the prestigious IRB Hall of Fame since its inception in 2006.
Last week, two other pioneers of the Game were inducted in recognition of their unique contribution to the way that Rugby was played.
Oxford University RFC greats Alan Rotherham and Harry Vassall are credited with pioneering the passing game and the three-man backline, which became widespread during the 1880s. The pair were inducted at the Oxford University RFC annual dinner on April 28 where the cap and the badge were presented by the club President Peter Bridges MBE to outgoing club captain Nick Haydon and the newly elected captain John Carter.
“Oxford University Rugby Football Club is very honoured to have two former players, Harry Vassall and Alan Rotherham, inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame. As one of the oldest Rugby clubs we are delighted to have had two players who were so significant in the development of the Game we know and love today,” said Bridges.
Further IRB Hall of Fame inductions will be made throughout 2011 in both hemispheres, including during Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.