Postcard of the American 1924 Rugby Team
Photo:World Rugby Museum
With the Olympics only seven months away, we have chosen this postcard of the current Olympic rugby champions to kick-off the start of the 2012 object of the month series.
Rugby was included in the 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, although only 6 countries ever took part (Great Britain, France, Germany, Romania, America and Australia). Most of the players who took part were not actually international players. The two British sides that have taken part in Olympic Rugby were made up of the Moseley Wanderers team (1900) and the Cornwall team (1908).
The 1924 Olympics were held in Paris. The final was between France and America (represented by a team from Stanford University). It was played in 45 minute halves, and resulted in a 17-3 defeat for the home side, with America picking up the gold medal for the second time. The French supporters, who had reportedly been hostile before the game, were so upset by the result that they jeered the American anthem and some of them began beating up the American supporters! After this, rugby was no longer played at the Olympics. It will make its return after 92 years in 2016 when rugby sevens will be played in Rio de Janeiro.