FLASHBACK: January 1956


France won a hard fought Test series against New Zealand 2-1, with legendary fullback, Puig Aubert back in action for the Tri-colours after missing the previous year’s tour down under.

Even without Aubert, the French won the series 2-1 in Australia and then shared the spoils with New Zealand in a two Test series.

The 1955-56 Kiwi tour of the northern hemisphere – from September to early February – featured 37 matches, 26 in the UK and 11 in France.

Great Britain won the first two Tests before the Kiwis restored confidence ahead of the French leg with 28-13 win in the Third Test.

All three Tests in France were played in January, 1956, in the depths of the northern hemisphere winter.

The First Test was played in Toulouse with Aubert skipper of the home side, while centre, Tommy Baxter led the tourists.

France won 24-7 with their star centre, Gilbert Benausse scoring two tries.

The return Test was played in Lyon, and the Kiwis levelled the series with a 31-22 win, forwards, Henry Maxwell and Ian Grey scoring two tries each.

Winger, Andre Savonne scored two tries for France. I had the honour of meeting Savonne in 1989 during Queensland Residents tour of France. He was a Mayor of a small town not far from Avignon.

The 1956 decider was played in Paris, and the Kiwis were so hard hit by injuries they struggled to put 13 men on the field.

The task was too much for the tourists who went down 24-3, with France scoring four tries to one, with Aubert landing six goals.

Puig Aubert

Puig Aubert

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