‘Olympic’ rugby returns in centenary celebration

The British Olympic Association has confirmed plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Olympic Games first being held in London with the restaging of the 1908 Rugby Union final between Great Britain and Australia. The historic event will be staged at Wembley Stadium on December 3, and will be the first time a rugby union match has taken place at the new stadium.

Representing Great Britain on this occasion will be the Barbarians and they will take on the Wallabies in a re-match of the 1908 Olympic Final, in which the Australians defeated a Great Britain side (represented by the county of Cornwall) 32-3, to claim the gold medal. This will be the culmination of the Wallabies’ six-match autumn tour.

The Wembley fixture will be the climax of a host of the BOA’s 1908 event centenary celebrations. Half-time will feature an Olympian parade, which will give fans a chance to welcome home the 2008 Team GB squad, as it will be the first time that the BOA invites all athletes to come together after the 2008 Olympic Games.

Micky Steele-Bodger, President of the Barbarians, said, “The Barbarians have a long standing history with Australia, as the club’s first international match was against the Wallabies in 1948 – the same year as London hosted its second Olympic Games… We are delighted to be working this time round with the British Olympic Association in their Centenary year celebrations and also playing at Wembley, as it was the preferred choice of the BOA because of its Olympic heritage, past and future.”

Some of the proceeds of the game will go to the BOA, which receives no government funding, to help fund the costs of preparing and sending Team GB to compete at future Olympic Games.

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Categories: BOA