FLASHBACK: December 1986

Australia belted France 52-0 at Carcassonne in a Test match that also was played for World Cup points.

Australian winger, Dale Shearer scored four tries and fullback, Garry Jack three, in a match that did nothing for the credibility of the 13 man code in France.

The referee was Fred Lindop, from Wakefield in England, and he had an easy afternoon, with little fire from the French, much to the disgust of the crowd of 5,000.

At halftime Gene Miles, Brett Kenny and Peter Sterling posed for a photograph at the request of official tour photographer, Brett Cochrane.

In the book ‘King Wally’, tour skipper, Wally Lewis said he expected coach, Don Furner to blow up, but looked around and there was Furner taking his own photograph of the trio. Then Furner stood beside an astonished Lewis and asked Cochrane to take a photograph of the pair on the playing arena.

Lewis looked across at Brett Kenny and laughed at what was happening, in the middle of a Test!

I take no joy in writing this item, because France was once a great rugby league nation and Australian teams of the 1930s, ’40s, 50s and to a lesser extent, the ’60s and ’70s, spoke in respectful tones about the physicality of Tests against the French.

Australian coach, Don Furner (right) with French league identity, Christian Textoris

Australian coach, Don Furner (right) with French league identity, Christian Textoris

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