2007 end-of-year rugby union internationals
The 2007 end of year rugby tests, also known as the 2007 Autumn internationals were a series of rugby union matches played in November and December 2007 in Europe. Because of the timing of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, most teams chose to take a break after that tournament and the end of year series consisted of just two matches (and only one Test match), both involving the 2007 World Cup winners South Africa.
Although the matches had been arranged well in advance of the World Cup, the mini-tour was seen as an opportunity for the world cup winners to showcase their talents and to say farewell to their outgoing coach, Jake White, who retired after the second game. In the event, several members of the world cup squad were unavailable for either game, because of retirement (Os du Randt), injury (Percy Montgomery, Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha), club commitments (Butch James), or other reasons (Victor Matfield), and the captain, John Smit, who had just joined French club ASM Clermont Auvergne, was released to play only in the first match.
The first match, and the only one with full Test status, was against Wales, on 24 November 2007, at the Millennium Stadium. Although Wales had more possession and dominated territorially, they managed to score just two tries, both from kicks. The first was scored by Welsh full-back Morgan Stoddart, who was making his Test debut. The second, the result of a bad mistake by Springbok full-back Ruan Pienaar, was scored by Colin Charvis; it was his 22nd Test try, a new record for a forward in Test rugby. South Africa made better use of their more limited possession, scoring five tries, including one by Ryan Kankowski, also a Test debutant, as the world cup winners won the match 34–12.
24 November 2007
|Try: Charvis 39' m
Stoddart 53' c
Con: Hook (1/2)
|Report||Try: Smith 20' c
Fourie (2) 28' m, 31' c
Pietersen 44' c
Kankowski 67' m
Con: A. Pretorius (3/4)
Pen: F. Steyn (1/1) 3'
The second match, at Twickenham on 1 December 2007, saw a Springbok XV facing a Barbarians side that included such big names as Jerry Collins, Martyn Williams, Matt Giteau, and the retiring Jason Robinson. The Barbarians' plans were disrupted when the English Premier clubs decided not to allow players to be released, and the Irish provinces followed suit. As a result, Brian O'Driscoll, who had been named to captain the side, had to withdraw, as did Andrew Sheridan of Sale Sharks, but Mark Regan of Bristol defied the ban and led the Barbarians, an act for which he was later sanctioned by his club. The match itself proved to be somewhat one-sided affair, the lacklustre Springboks, who included just five World Cup final starters, losing 22–5 to a Barbarians side that played with flair and creativity. The Barabarians scored three tries, the South Africans only one, scored by Barend Pieterse, who was making his first appearance in a Springbok jersey in place of Schalk Burger, who had broken his nose in the game against Wales.
1 December 2007
|Try: Giteau 18' m
M. Williams 40' c
Elsom 42' c
Con: Giteau (2)
Pen: Giteau 3'
|Report||Try: Pieterse 34' m
- Hands, David (24 November 2007). "Match against world champions provides Welsh with chance to prove their point". Times Online (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Kitson, Robert (22 November 2007). "South Africa captain calls for a White-hot farewell". Guardian Unlimited (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- "Springboks name testing Cardiff line-up". Guardian Unlimited (London: Guardian News and Media). 21 November 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Jones, Stephen (25 November 2007). "South Africa run Wales into submission". The Sunday Times (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Butler, Eddie (25 November 2007). "Wales are devoured by Burger with relish". The Observer (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Hands, David (27 November 2007). "Clubs refuse to let Mark Regan and Andrew Sheridan play for Barbarians". Times Online (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Rees, Paul (29 November 2007). "Regan is Premier Rugby's Baa-Baa black sheep". Guardian Unlimited (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- "Regan punished after Baa-Baas row". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 4 December 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Barnes, Stuart (2 December 2007). "Baa-Baas magic lives on". The Sunday Times (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Cain, Nick (2 December 2007). "World caves in on champions". The Sunday Times (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Butler, Eddie (2 December 2007). "Baa-Baas laugh off the goodbyes". The Observer (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 1 January 2008.
|Rugby union schedule for 2007|
|H. Cup||Six Nations Championship||Heineken Cup||World Cup||H. Cup|
|Guinness Premiership||Guinness Premiership|
|Mid-Year Test Series||Pre-RWC tests||End of Year Tests|
|Under 19 World Championship||Pacific Nations Cup|
|Celtic League||Celtic League|
|Top 14||Top 14|
|Sevens||Australian Rugby Championship||Sevens|
|Churchill Cup||Air New Zealand Cup|
|Super 14||Tri Nations|