GRAND SLAM ENGLAND NATIONAL RUGBY TEAM WING CYRIL LOWE. THE STORY BEHIND RUGBY’S WAR HEROES.
England National Rugby Team hero Cyril Lowe was quite a unique rugby player. He was slight of build, weighing just 9st 6lb (60 kg). But was an exceptional rugby player. A great finisher with speed and wonderful footwork. He won his first Grand Slam in 1913. And he won back-to-back Five Nation Grand Slams in 1914.
England National Rugby Team 1914 decider against France
In the final match of the 1914 Championship game against France. Played in front of a partisan crowd of 20,000 at the Stade Colombes. England was captained by centre three-quarter Ronald Poulton. Also included in an outstanding backline was the United Service half-back pairing of Dave Davies and Francis Oakeley. In addition, Bristol’s full-back Bill Johnson.
On the wing was the raw talent of Arthur James Dingle who made his international debut a few weeks earlier against Ireland. Sadly, we would never see Dingle mature as a player. As he lost his life at the Battle of Scimitar Hill during the Gallipoli Campaign. On the opposite wing was the unassuming figure of Cambridge University C.N. Lowe.
France score through Olympic athlete
France started the game well. The Toulouse forward Jean-Louis Capmau scored a try. This was converted by Sporting Club Universitaire de France Centre, Lucien Besset. And England was under extreme pressure and their potential Grand Slam looked in jeopardy. That was until the ball was spun out to Lowe who bamboozled the French defence to score out wide. The conversion was wide.
The French were determined to spoil the English party. The Racing Club de France wing Georges André increased the home team’s lead with a well-worked try. Interestingly, André as well as a fine rugby player. He was also an international athlete. Competing at 1908, 1912, 1920, and 1924 Summer Olympics. Including long jump, high jump, 400 m sprint, 110 and 400 m hurdles. In addition, pentathlon and decathlon. Also, he won a silver medal in the high jump in 1908. And a bronze in the 4 × 400 m relay in 1920.
England National Rugby Team Captain Poulton and Lowe lead by example
However, the French lead did not last long. Leading by example Captain Ronald Poulton scored two quick tries. Both were converted by Lowe’s Cambridge University colleague John ‘Jenny’ Greenwood. At the break England led by 13 points to 8. At the start of the second half. England began to dominate and scored three more tries. France was spurred on by the crowd. Once again scored. This time through the Toulouse Prop Forward Marcel-Frédéric Lubin-Lebrère. The granite tough Lubin-Lebrère was a survivor in more than one sense. Left for dead after being shot 14 times during the Somme. He was taken captive by the Germans. When he returned home, he had lost sight in one eye.
But, England’s domination continued. They scored a further three tries. With England’s outstanding Centre and Wing partnership doing the damage. Captain Ronald Poulton finished with four to his name. Cyril Lowe crossed for a hat-trick of tries. The ever-reliable boot of John ‘Jenny’ Greenwood kicked six goals. This equaled the record of the legendary Lennard Stokes in 1881.
Cyril Lowe England National Rugby Team War Hero
Cyril Lowe’s, international career spanned either side of the First World War. In which he scored a record 18 tries in 25 internationals. He played in four Grand Slam-winning sides until his retirement in 1923. In 1913 and 1914 he won back-to-back Five Nation Grand Slams. And his eight-try haul in 1914 remains a Championship record. He was also a First World War flying ace. Credited with nine victories. And supposedly the inspiration for W. E. Johns’ character “Biggles”
A clothing collection celebrating the Rugby Team War Hero
Ellis Rugby designed a range to celebrate this rugby great. This included our England Rugby Shirt Vintage Triple Blue. In addition, our Classic England Rugby Shirt Polo Triple Blue. Or the Ellis Rugby Classic England Rugby T-Shirt Triple Blue Navy or in sky. Also, England Rugby 1923 Shirt 1924 Grand Slam which Cyril Lowe played in during the 1923 campaign.