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Ron Jacobs

Nation: England
Place of Birth: Whittlesey, 28th October 1928
Position: Prop
Internationals: 29 caps between 1956 and 1964
Inducted: England v South Africa (November 22, 2008)

The following article has been adapted from the original by Dai Llewellyn, which focused on two players. It has been changed to highlight only the selected inductee’s information.

Sadly, the doughty former Peterborough, Northampton and England prop died in November 2002, but the former England captain certainly made his mark on the game in this country. He was also President of the RFU in 1983.

He won 29 caps, captaining England in his final two appearances against France and Scotland in 1964. His record was impressive: in all those appearances Jacobs, nicknamed The Badger because of his formidable scrummaging technique, was only on the losing side ten times.

Jacobs was an inordinately strong man, in part due to the fact that he was a farmer, at Thorney near Peterborough. He stood 5ft 9in, weighed more than 15st and was once described as “square-rigged and as broad as he is long”.  His powerful but low slung stature, coupled with his physique, meant he could get down lower than the majority of his opponents and by applying his strength, give them a torrid time at the set piece.

Jacobs was a member of the first England team to win a post-war Grand Slam, in 1957, and he was part of an imposing front row comprising hooker and captain Eric Evans and George Hastings.

His term of office as RFU President coincided with the decision to send England on the controversial tour to South Africa in 1984. He was among a number of senior figures at Twickenham in favour of it, arguing that “...contact is more profitable and constructive than leaving South Africa out in the cold.”

Jacobs went with the players as tour manager and off-field the trip went without a diplomatic hitch. Unfortunately on the pitch England lost both Tests, the last time the two countries were to play each other for eight years.

Article by Dai Llewellyn

 

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