Jacob Whitehead runs through the top ten Test tries from the Sixties

60 Years of Rugby World: Greatest Tries of the 1960s

To celebrate 60 years of Rugby World magazine, we’re counting down the top ten international tries of every decade.

First up is the 1960s, which saw the birth of more organised back play, leading to some quite sensational early scores…

Mannetjies Roux (South Africa) v British & Irish Lions, 1962

Mannetjies Roux put the seal on a fine series win for the Springboks with a remarkable try on the Highveld.

For the first of his two tries in that Test (and the first on this video), Roux took a short pass from his fly-half and seared past two Lions defenders before swerving inside to beat centre Mike Weston and captain Dickie Jeeps. Only the referee, Captain PA Myburgh, proved capable of keeping up.

Richard Sharp (England) v Scotland, 1963

The character in Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe novels was named after one of Cornwall’s greatest sportsmen, dashing fly-half Richard Sharp.

His greatest moment ensured that England would win the 1963 Five Nations, with a soaring parabola in which no less than four Scottish defenders were fooled by his dummies.

Wilson Whineray (New Zealand) v Barbarians, 1964


There’s always something brilliant about a forward doing something not expected of them, an early example occurring courtesy of legendary All Blacks captain Sir Wilson Whineray (see 4:55 on the video).

Part of a 36-3 victory, the New Zealand prop cheekily dummied the Barbarians full-back before casually dotting the ball down beneath the posts of Cardiff Arms Park.

Andy Hancock (England) v Scotland, 1965


Tries were only worth three points in these days, and England were under pressure as they trailed 3-0, having already lost to Wales and Ireland in that Five Natons.

In the final minutes Andy Hancock, winning only his second cap, received the ball deep in his own 22 with a Scottish wall bearing down on him. One hand-off, two in-and-outs, four flailing defenders and 90 metres later and Hancock would collapse over the line to score a try (see 1:20 on the video) immortalised in the BBC Grandstand opening credits.

Keith Jarrett (Wales) v England, 1967

Keith Jarrett emerged onto the international scene as an 18-year-old, selected at full-back against the English despite having never played there before.

It mattered little, as the Newport teen burst onto a probing kick with explosive pace, beating two English defenders before they’d even sighted the flyer. He’d make the cover of Rugby World two months later and you can read his take on the try in the 60th anniversary issue of the magazine.


Kel Tremain (New Zealand) v Australia, 1967

This was a try (see 2:00 on the video) conjured by the iconic scrum-half Sid Going in New Zealand’s 29-9 Bledisloe Cup victory.

He ducked between two Australian defenders to start a flowing move, before once more seizing on the loose ball and slipping the pass inside to onrushing flanker Kel Tremain.

Mike Coulman (England) v Scotland, 1968

Modern Test rugby has seen the prop emerge as an attacking weapon, but sowing the seeds for Kyle Sinckler and Ellis Genge was dual-code international Mike Coulman. He was notoriously quick for a front-rower, as he showed against Scotland in England’s only victory of that year’s Five Nations (see 0:20 on the video).

A looped lineout throw into midfield found the onrushing Moseley player, who cut a swathe through the defence before bulldozing over the top of unfortunate Scottish full-back Stewart Wilson.

Frik du Preez (South Africa) v British and Irish Lions, 1968

South Africa have a proud tradition of producing second-rows, and one of the finest and earliest was Frik du Preez, named South Africa’s best player of the 20th century.

Not only was his try in the first Test against the Lions the decisive score but a rare example of a successful move around the front of the lineout. Du Preez would gallop through from halfway to score in the corner, outstripping the desperate cover tackle of Lions captain Tom Kiernan.

Barry John (Wales) v England, 1969     

Keith Jarrett, this time playing centre, gathered his own chip to alley-oop the ball to the advancing Barry John, one of Wales’ finest fly-halves.

Setting off on a weaving run, John beat four English defenders, the final sidestep the most audacious of all, to win Wales the Five Nations with a 30-9 victory over England.

Piet Greyling (South Africa) v England, 1969

Amid fierce anti-apartheid protests, the touring South African team failed to win any Internationals. However, they did score a try (see 0:35 on the video) impressive not for the precision or flair of the attack but the ferocity of their defence.

England tried to gather the loose ball three times, fumbling each time under intense South African pressure before Springbok hooker Don Walton intercepted and fed destructive flanker Piet Greyling for the game’s first try.

Let us know what you think are the greatest tries of the 1960s by emailing rugbyworldletters@ti-media.com

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