FLASHBACK: November 1947

The Rugby Football League announced it would trial a ‘throw-in’, instead of a scrum, during the New Zealand Kiwi’s French leg of their northern hemisphere tour.

Noted Australian journalist, Tom Goodman reported from London that French league officials were especially keen to see a throw-in, to provide variety from the scrums.

Chairman of the RFL, Walter Crockford said he believed a throw-in would eventually become part of the laws of the game.

“The idea is to use the throw-in after touch kicks, but not for all minor infringements,” Crockford said.

He said the throw-in should not be confused with rugby union’s line-out.

The exact method had not been finalised, and there were fears among traditionalists it would be a mini line-out, resulting in more scrums when the throw-in proved abortive.

An International Board had yet to be established after the conclusion of World War II, but it was expected one would be put in place at the end of the Kiwi tour.

On the day of the throw-in announcement, the Kiwis played Leeds at Headingley, winning 23-16 in front of a crowd of 8,864.

.The Kiwis played 35 matches in England, Wales and France, winning 20, drawing two and losing 13. Britain won the Test series 2-1. In France the series finished 1-1. New Zealand won a one-off Test against Wales – in Swansea – 28-20.

I can find no record of the throw-in rule being used in France where the Kiwis played matches in Paris, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Lyon, Antibes, Perpignan, Avignon and Bayonne.

A union line-out

A union line-out

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