Australian halfback, Barry Muir was lucky not to be sent off, after he knocked out French rival, Bernard Fabre from Albi, in the Third Rugby League Test at Parc des Sports, Roanne.
Muir, from Brisbane Wests, was close to Australia’s best in the Kangaroos’ 16-8 win in muddy conditions, but fans were furious referee, Georges Jameau, did not take harsher action than a penalty for the high shot.
The crowd favorite was Welsh born Australian fullback, Keith Barnes (Balmain) who brilliantly fielded the high ball, and always got out of the in-goal area. He also defended stoutly at crucial times. Australian centre, Harry ‘Dealer’ Wells’ (Sydney Wests) forceful runs proved a handful for the French defence out wide.
French forward, Marcel Bescos, a fishmonger from Albi, showed enormous courage just to finish the game, as he had suffered a broken rib early in the second half. Centre, Jean Foussat from Villeneuve-sur-Lot, played 40 minutes with a dislocated shoulder, while Villeneuve teammate, Raymond Gruppi left his sick bed to play.
The match had been scheduled for Lyon, but because of snow storms across France, the Test was delayed four days, before being shifted to Roanne, where there had been a match scheduled against a regional selection. Still, 160 tonnes of snow had to be shovelled off the Roanne pitch before play could start.
Australia’s victory gave them a clean sweep of the series against France, but they had lost the Test series against Britain, 2-1.
The Kangaroos played two matches in Italy on the way home, beating the locals 37-15 in Padova and then 67-22 in Treviso.
The French Rugby League had done the pioneering work in northern Italy, but the 13 man code did not survive for long. The Kangaroos treated the matches almost as social affairs, even ‘allowing’ the Italians to score a few tries.
In other news: Brisbane Norths’ forward, Jack Coyne accepted a position to captain-coach Brothers in Cairns, for 600 pounds for the season, plus a job and accommodation. He rejected an offer from his former club, South Sydney, which was believed to have fallen well short of the Cairns’ contract.
Coyne was captain-coach of Norths when they beat Brothers 24-18 in the 1959 Brisbane grand final. He had come to the Devils with former Test fullback, Clive Churchill, from South Sydney. (Churchill was coach of the Kangaroos in Britain and France).
Brisbane Norths also lost halfback, Ken Anderson who signed with North Sydney.
Brisbane Wests had appointed former State five eighth, Ted Verrenkamp as coach for the 1960 season, after he had a successful stint in Cairns. Verrenkamp worked in a motor tyre business in Brisbane.
Norths signed former North Queensland five eighth, Peter Moore, who had accepted a job as a teacher at Wavell High.
Redcliffe players were being recruited to paint the new club house premises at the Showgrounds, where they would play their home games in the Dolphins’ first season in the BRL top grade. The club house was in fact the old Moreton Bay Hotel, with the football club buying the building, and moving it to the Showgrounds, before the demolition crews moved in.
Brisbane Souths appointed former Test forward, Henry Holloway as their coach, replacing ‘Ack’ Jones, who was unavailable. Holloway had played with Souths in 1959, after moving from Newcastle.
Souths announced they had signed forward, Norm Gledhill from Cunnamulla, on the recommendation of Test five eighth, Bobby Banks.
1 Action from the Third Test between France and Australia at Roanne in 1960.
2 French forward, Marcel Bescos suffered a broken rib in Roanne
3 Australian fullback, Keith Barnes in action for Balmain.