FLASHBACK: December 1948

PuigSTOCKY little French fullback, Puig Aubert practised his goal kicking at the same ground as the Australian rugby league players ahead of their tour match against L’Aude Province at Carcassonne.
Aubert, who would go on to enchant crowds on France’s inaugural tour of Australia in 1951, was contracted to Carcassonne at the time, but was unavailable for the match at his home ground, as well as the First Test in Marseilles a week later.
The man they called ‘pipette’ because of the small cigarettes he smoked, was recovering from a broken collar bone.
Aubert, who landed goals from all angles and distances into a strong wind, much to the amazement of the Kangaroo tourists, had been offered huge money to play in England, but a transfer ban was in place to ensure the French game remained strong.
French spectators at the training session were fascinated by the Australians’ shoulder pads and light metal studs, and Aubert even approached Australian forward, Jack Rayner for a set of pads to aid his comeback, and Rayner obliged.
Australia had opened the French section of the tour with a 43-3 win over a Toulouse selection, but then went down 20-5 to Catalan Province in a brawling match in Perpignan.
The Kangaroos had lost their first two Tests against Great Britain, with the Third Test postponed until the New Year because of heavy fog which rolled over Odsal Stadium at Bradford just 40 minutes before kick-off.

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