A tour of New Zealand commenced in 193, Fiji returned from the tour as undefeated; the first national team to leave New Zealand without losing a single match. Fiji won seven and drew one of the eight fixtures they played. The Fijians impressed the New Zealand crowds with their unpredictable and free-flowing style of rugby.
Retro Fiji Rugby Shirt Polo – Rugby Union
An Introduction to Retro Fiji Rugby Shirt Polo
Produced by Ellis Rugby, the Retro Fiji Rugby Shirt Polo is an exceptional quality shirt. In 1952 the Fijian Rugby Union team toured Australia. The tour included a full Test match against Australia. And although Fiji had played international games against NZ Maoris, Samoa, and Tonga. None of these countries were full members of the International Rugby Board.
They were scheduled to play a single Test match against the Wallabies. But the Fijians made such an impact with their open style of play. It was decided a second Test match should be added to the itinerary.
Following two tour victories against the City of Sydney and South Harbour, they met a strong New South Wales team. The team included a host of internationals. A crowd of 39,000 saw Fiji played really well and surprise their more experienced opponents resulting in a 14 points to 14 draws.
The tourists were led by Apakuki Tuitava who had previously gained 9 caps for his country. The undoubted star of the tour was however 21-year old winger Josefa Levula, the 6ft 2in and 14 stone Fiji 220-yard sprint champion. Levula was renowned for his unusual running technique which included a high knee action resulting in a blistering pace.
He made his début for Fiji at fly-half. But made his name on the wing. Also, he ran for Fiji Athletics team in 1954. He finished 2nd in the 100-yard dash behind Hector Hogan in the Australian Athletics Championships
In 1961, he left rugby union. And joined Rugby league team Rochdale Hornets with fellow Fijian Orisi Dawai. Two more notable Fijian rugby players Voate Drui and Liatia Ravouvou also switched codes. Levula joined Bradford Northern after his spell with the Hornets a few years later. He became a member of the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
The first Test against Australia held at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The match was held on July 26th, 1952. The conditions were poor with heavy rain. And it did not suit the style of rugby Fiji played. The Wallabies played the conditions better. And won the game 15 points to 9. The highlight of the match was a try by Sailosi Valewai who scored after only 15 seconds.
The Second Test attracted 42,000 spectators and the match didn’t disappoint the expectant crowd. Stapleton scored an early try. Fiji soon came back into the game with scrum half Suliasi Vatubua kicking a penalty goal. Then Semi Ralagi the Fijian Prop forward scored a try to give the visitors a 6 points to 3 advantage. Solomon dropped a goal for Australia. Then Fiji full back Taniela Ranavue kicked a penalty goal to give the tourists a half-time lead of 9 points to 6.
Furthermore about Retro Fiji Rugby Shirt
After the break Nick Shehadie scored a try. Ranavue followed up with a 40-metre drop goal for Fiji. Wallaby scrum half Brian Cox went over for another unconverted try to level the scores. With the match moving in to the final stages, Wame Salabogi the Fiji fly half jinked through to touch down under the post and give Vatubua an easy conversion.
12 points to 17. Australia launched attack after attack, but the Fijian defence held firm. Then in the final minutes, the Wallabies launched one final attack. Solomon on to Stapleton who released flanker Col Windon who squeezed in for a try in the corner.
All the pressure was on Australian kicker Eddie Stapleton to draw the match. The kick went agonisingly wide for the Wallabies. He was unable to rise to the occasion which left Fiji unexpected but thrilled victors by 17 points to 15, a remarkable ending to an historic tour. The Fijian players were joyful and overcome with emotion as they embraced each other.
The design of this Ellis Rugby Retro Fiji Shirt Polo combines the vintage Fijian Crest as well as Ellis Rugby branding. The vintage Fijian Crest features on the left chest of this Polo with Ellis Rugby branding on the arm.
Manufactured from 100% chunky pique cotton. This Fijian Rugger Polo Shirt features detailed embroidery on the vintage Fijian Crest, contrast inner placket, arms and collar stand. Also included on this garment is herringbone detail on the side vents and velvet tape on the neck opening. In addition subtle Ellis Rugby branding features on the collar stand and tone on tone logo on the arm.
The Ellis Rugby Retro Fiji Shirt Polo is available in sizes S – XL.
As well as the Ellis Rugby Retro Fiji Shirt Polo, we also offer a Vintage Fiji Rugby Shirt Classic Style.
Small, Medium, Large, X Large