Mark ‘Ronnie’ Regan, English international who played hooker for Bristol (1991-1997, 2005-2009) Bath (1997-2002), and Leeds Tykes (2002-2005) as well as England and the British Lions, was born on this day in 1972.  Regan’s England breakthrough came when he succeeded Brian Moore in 1995 for the visit of South Africa to Twickenham in November. He became the first player to make his England debut in the professional era of rugby union, which began in August of that year. Although Lawrence Dallaglio made his England debut in the same match, he came off the bench, whilst Regan was in the starting XV. Despite being on the losing side, he retained his place for the 1996 and 1997 Five Nations championships. Selected for the 1997 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa, Regan had a notable rivalry with Keith Wood. Although he was kept out of the first and second tests by the Irishman, Regan did play in the final test. In 1999/2000, Regan re-emerged as a player: having over a stone in weight and hit back at those who believed his line-out throwing was too inconsistent for international level by turning in some impressive performances for Bath and was voted the Bath forward of the year. He returned to the international scene and joined the England squad on the tour to South Africa in 2000. He played some of the best rugby of his career and selection for the autumn internationals followed where injuries to other key players allowed him to take over as England’s number one hooker for the Six Nations Championship; however, Clive Woodward opted for Leicester Tigers Dorian West and Regan was forced to sit on the bench for most of the campaign. He was selected for the summer tour but hindered by injury failed to find his early season form. He joined Leeds Tykes in August 2002 from Bath and quickly became a central figure at Headingley. He made his debut on the opening day of the 2002-2003 season in a 26-13 win over Leicester Tigers. The move to Leeds saw a revival in his international career, as he was selected for the England squad for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Regan announced his international retirement in 2004 and at the end of the 2004-5 season left Leeds, having helped secure the team Premiership status, as well as winning a Powergen Cup winners medal. In 2005-6 he was instrumental in helping newly promoted Bristol (his hometown club) retain their Premiership status. He came out of international retirement in 2007 and was impressive in England’s otherwise lacklustre tour of South Africa. Consequently, he was named in the England squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He was also named in the England squad for the 2008 Six Nations Championship. After the world cup, Regan was selected to captain the Barbarians against South Africa but was refused permission to play from Bristol, he ignored the club and played the game anyway. After England beat France 24-13 in Paris in the 2008 Six Nations Championship, Regan was described by French coach Marc Lièvremont as a ‘grotesque clown’ This was to be Regan’s last appearance for England and in February 2009 he announced his intention to retire at the end of the season. He went on to be the Forwards Coach at Clifton Rugby Club playing a part in leading them to the South West One title and the EDF Cup Final at Twickenham.



French forward Philippe Dintrans was born Tarbes in 1957. He played all his career at Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby club, starting at 1967, aged 10 years old, and joining the first team in 1975/76, aged 18 years old, when he made his debut for the French Championship. He would play at Tarbes for 17 seasons until 1991/92, his best result being a runner-up to the 1987/88 season, losing to SU Agen. Philippe made his Test debut against the All-Blacks at Christchurch on 7th July 1979, the match ended 23-9 to the home side, during the tour he was called on to replace the seemingly irremovable French hooker Alain Paco. Philippe admired the New Zealanders – reportedly saying “if I had not been French, I would have liked to be an All Black. After the Marseillaise, I relished the Haka. It was like a ladle of caviar. I would have liked to jump with them in the end.”  In October 1985 a herniated disc led to him suffering paralysis of his left leg almost led to the end of his career with specialists recommending that the French hooker retire from the game, but 7 months later he was back in training and looking to regain his place in the international squad. He won 50 caps for France between 1979 to 1990, scoring 3 tries.  He played in seven Five Nations Championships (1980-89), winning the tournament in 1981 and 1989 with a Grand Slam each time. He played 24 games at the competition, scoring 1 try. He was called up for the 1987 Rugby World Cup, playing in a single game, where he was the captain. His final test match came against Romania at Auch on 24th May 1990, when he captained the team to a 6-12 loss against the visitors. He was a Physical Education teacher as well as being involved in the gastronomical and automobile businesses.



Derek Bolton White, born today in 1958 in Haddington, Scotland. The international No 8, was once described as “a big bulky back-row with pace and a mean streak” Educated at Dunbar Grammar School, he began playing Rugby for Dunbar RFC, before moving to Haddington RFC, and then Galashiels RFC. He won 42 caps for Scotland, from 1982 to 1992, scoring 11 tries, and played at the 1987 Rugby World Cup and at the 1991 Rugby World Cup. He made his Test debut at Murrayfield on 6th March 1982 against the French in the Five Nations Championship. He wore the number 7 jersey in side captained by Andy Irvine, the final score being 16-7.  His final Test match was again in the Five Nations, this time playing number 8, away at Cardiff, the Welsh side just edging out to win by 3 points (15-12).  He was on the British and Irish Lions 1989 tour of Australia. White moved to Petersfield, Hampshire, where he played for London Scottish until the mid-1990s. He then played for Petersfield RFC, where he also had some involvement as a player/coach. He was for many years one of Scotand’s most under-rated assets and went on after retirement to love and work as a Financial advisor.




Alessandro Zanni, Italian player was born on this day in 1984 in Udine. The back-rower started his playing career at his home town club, Udine in 2003, he moved to Calvisano two years later, where he remained until 2009, moving to Benetton, where he currently plays in the Pro 12 and the European Rugby Champions Cup.  He represented Italy at age-group and “A” level establishing himself as a regular member of the Italian squad after making his international debut on the tour of Tonga at Prato on 12th November 2005, coming off the bench in a 48 nil thrashing of the home side. He has made over 100 appearances for his national side, winning his 100 cap against England the 2018 Six Nations match against England in Rome. This represented the irst time since March 2016 that the player had been back in the Italian side, having been side-linded due to injury for much of that time. Having spent most of his career in the back row, he packed down at lock for the match. Italian head coach Conor O’Shea has included Alexandro in his 31 man squad for the 2019 Six Nations, the whole side has a very distinctive Benetton flavour to it with 18 players from the club making the final cut.



Gavin Lloyd Henson, who currently plays for the Dragons in the Pro14, was born today in 1982.  He attracted much media attention as part of a Wales national team which achieved Grand Slams in the Six Nations Championship in 2005 and 2008. He has also played for the British and Irish Lions, touring in 2005 to New Zealand but has never appeared at a World Cup. After an extended spell out of the national side, including missing the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he was recalled by caretaker coach Nigel Davies, being included in the squad to play against South Africa. Gavin has played at 10 different clubs during his professional career, starting with a single appearance for Llanelli in 2000, where he scored 5 points. Born in Pencoed, Gavin played for his school, Brynteg Comprehensive, in Bridgend, but despite his origins, he joined Swansea RFC at the age of 18, winning the International Rugby Board’s Young Player of the Year award in 2001. He made his international debut for Wales during June 2001 in a Test against Japan, coming off the bench.  In 2003, when regional rugby was launched in Wales, he made his debut for the Ospreys as a substitute on 9th September 2003 in a match against Ulster, scoring two tries and kicking both a penalty and conversion. Gavin came to wider notice in 2004 with a series of performances in Wales’ autumn internationals against New Zealand and South Africa, becoming a firm part of the Welsh starting line-up. He remained on the team for the 2005 Six Nations Championship. In Wales’ opening fixture in February, at home to England, he made two huge tackles on Mathew Tait (earning Tait the nickname ‘Henson’s Handbag’) and landing the match-winning points with a 4 m penalty kick and being named man of the match. In the northern hemisphere summer of the same year, he was named in the Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand.  When he was selected for the second test, he was injured and could not play in the final test. In October 2005, his My Grand Slam Year was published and comments about the Lions tour and remarks about other players ensured a lot of publicity and he had to apologise to his teammates, he was not selected in the Wales squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup by then coach Gareth Jenkins, after he failed to prove his fitness after injury. Gavin started for all of Wales’s 2008 Six Nations Championship games, going on to win the Grand Slam for the second time in four seasons. After a sabbatical year he returned to the game in 2010 with English side Saracens and from there to Toulon in France, where he stayed for only 5 months, returning to Wales to play with the Blues. This was another short-lived stay, his contract was terminated in April 2012 after he was reported to be drinking and behaving inappropriately on a flight home from Scotland after a match against Glasgow. The airline Flybe banned him from flying with them for six months. On 9th July 2012, London Welsh announced that they had signed Gavin for the 2012/13 season but year later he was leaving to join Bath, but controversy pursued him and in July 2013 he was knocked out by Bath teammate Carl Fearns on a night out in the city. He joined his present club Dragons at the start of 2015, having been released 4 months early by Bath.



Daniel Drew, Scottish international, who was born in 1850 In Dunoon, died on this day in 1914, aged 63. He played for Glasgow Academicals as a forward and made his international debut against England on 27th March 1871 at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, the first ever rugby Test match.  Almost five years later Daniel received another Scotland call up to play against England. He played in the 6th March 1876 match at The Oval in London, the very last rugby game at that venue. The second son of the well-known Alexander Drew who formed the company Messrs Alexander Drew and Son, Calico printers, in Lowerhouse, Burnley.  His brother Thomas was also a player at Glasgow Academicals, although he never made the international team.  He was educated at Glasgow Academy, where he helped found the famous Glasgow Academicals. He afterwards attended Glasgow University, where he continued with his love of the game. When he moved to Lancashire in 1872 to work in his father’s company he played with Lancashire, Manchester and Preston Grasshoppers. In his earlier days he was a great athlete and a cyclist at the advent of the machine. In the days of the Great Paris Exhibition he purchased a design and made himself wooden cycle, an example of his work was in the joiners’ shop at Lowerhouse for many years. He was a keen amateur photographer but by far his favourite hobby was that of yachting and only previous summer he has bought a new yacht and had cruised along the East Coast. In his early years he did not take a very active part in either political or public life being a moderate Liberal or Whig, but when the famous Home Rule split occurred in 1886 he “threw his lot in” with the Unionists. He then became very active in political warfare and he was one of those who helped for form the Burnley Unionist Association, In his later years he became an enthusiastic Tariff Reformer. He was created a County Magistrate almost 25 years prior to his death.



Mark Stewart Bennett born today in 1993 is a Scottish rugby union player who plays as a centre for Edinburgh Rugby in the Pro14. He started his career playing for Cumnock before moving to Ayr RFC and winning the Scottish Premiership in 2011. He also made his senior debut for Glasgow in 2011 and secured a move to French side ASM Clermont Auvergne. A serious knee injury disrupted his season, and he returned to Glasgow in 2012 to join the Warriors on loan, the move being made permanent the following year. On 14th February 2017, Edinburgh Rugby announced that they had signed him on a three-year deal and that he would begin playing for them from the summer. Mark has represented Scotland at Under 18 level four times and played 21 times at under-20 level including appearances at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 IRB Junior World Championships. He was named in Vern Cotter’s first ever squad for Scotland’s 2014 summer tour,but failed to play in any of the four games. He was reselected in Scotland’s squad for the 2014 Autumn Internationals, making his debut in Scotland’s 41–31 victory over Argentina on 8 November 2014. After establishing himself in the squad, he played in all five of Scotland’s matches in the 2015 Six Nations Championship, notching tries against Italy and England. He also had a potentially decisive try against Wales controversially disallowed, after team-mate Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was incorrectly judged to have knocked-on when fouled near the try line. After recovering from an injury which ruled him out of the run-in to Glasgow Warriers’ 2014–15 Pro12 title triumph, Mark was selected in Scotland’s 31-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He scored two tries in the team’s opening match victory over Japan and was nominated for “Breakthrough Player of the Year” by World Rugby after the tournament. He represented Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Olympics, being the only capped international XVs player to be named in the GB 7’s team for the Games, winning a silver medal. His father, Stewart, played for Carnoustie HSFP, Kilmarnock and Cumnock. His sister also plays and was selected for the under-18 Scotland pathway squad