• Short Summary

    A British Rugby Union side, which arrived in Rhodesia on Thursday (17 May) to play the national side on Saturday (19 May).

  • Description

    TGV Set scrum near Transvaal posts. Surrey No. 9 Lewis (striped shirt) receives ball and is tackled. Surrey No.10 Preston picks up ball and scores try

    TV Preston kicks conversion

    TV FROM Loose maul Transvaal No.6 De Bruin feeds three quarters and Transvaal score

    TGV Transvaal scores with conversion

    TGV Transvaal attacks down left flank, meeting dogged resistance form Surrey players

    GV Salisbury airport building TILT DOWN TO Surrey players leaving with baggage

    CU Players carrying duty-free drink and rugby balls (2 shots)

    GV Players boarding coach

    CU Captain of Survey side, Keith Hughes speaking to reporter in English

    HUGHES: "Well, as far as we know in fact, there's no British government opposition. The Foreign Office has stated that aren't any rules in either the United Nations or Geneva agreements that can stop us coming here. And they haven't put any pressure at all. Of course there's been a change of government, so we can't say whether the present government will feel the same way."

    NEWSMAN: "Is there any contact at all do you know between the British government and the Surrey Rugby Club?"

    HUGHES: "Yes. Prior to coming to South Africa we applied to the respective rugby football unions who obviously had to go through the Foreign Office at home in order that we could come over to South Africa and Rhodesia. And no opposition."

    Initials BB/


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: A British Rugby Union side, which arrived in Rhodesia on Thursday (17 May) to play the national side on Saturday (19 May). has rejected political opposition to their Southern Africa tour saying the British government was informed and raised no objection. Officials of the Surrey Country side say they are just there to play rugby, but the visit comes at an embarrassing time for the new British government which is expected to announce soon whether it will recognise the government of Prime Minister-elect, Bishop Abel Muzorewa. The Surrey side arrived in Salisbury from Pretoria where they beat Northern Transvaal 'B' 43-10 in the first of give games in South Africa. And that too could cause the British government problems, since the visit seems to contravene the Gleneagles agreement reached by Commonwealth heads of state in 1977 that member countries should vigorously discourage all sporting contact with South Africa. Some reports suggest the tour could even jeopardise Britain's participation in the Commonwealth Games.

    SYNOPSIS: The fact the Wednesday's (16 May) match with Northern Transvaal took place at all was more important than the impressive Surrey scoreline. The county side has brought some top-class players, and is boosted by several internationals playing as guests. Welsh international Alan Lewis, playing at scrum-half for the visitors, made the initial break which led to a try by fly-half Preston which he also converted.

    But one of the game's best tries came from the Northern Transvaal side. Flanker De Bruin got second-phase possession and fed his three quarters who ripped through the Surrey defence for a great score. The conversion meant the try was worth six of the home side's ten points.

    The try inspired Northern Transvaal who piled on the pressure. But Surrey defended strongly and prevented another quick score. Country champion Middlesex is also in South Africa playing matches against provincial and club sides, and other British sides are set to follow. These tours are seen as an important boost for South Africa Rugby after the cancellation of French tours by South African sides.

    The Surrey team's arrival in Salisbury was hailed as a triumph for internationally isolated Rhodesian sport, since it was assumed that the visit was in defiance of the British when he spoke to newsmen at the airport, team captain and Welsh international Keith hughes cast doubt on this assumption.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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