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Rugby’s grit, grace and hard-hitting tackles often overshadow the game’s gentler moments. Often times, in a sport like rugby, it takes a devasting tackle or moment of despair to bring out the true class in the game. If you are a fan of rugby, you can wager on the biggest games in rugby union and rugby league by visiting Excelsior and predict the winners of Rugby World Cup 2019.

Times and Star:

With the big tournament on the horizon, here is a look at rugby’s top sportsmanship moments that will bring a smile to fans faces.

Tana Umaga and Colin Charvis – 2003

Times and Star:

New Zealand clashed with Wales in 2003 in an international test match in Hamilton. During the game Wales player Colin Charvis was knocked unconscious courtesy of a Jerry Collins’ tackle. Seeing Charvis out cold, All Blacks player Tana Umaga ran to the Welsh player removed his mouthpiece and put him into the recovery position until medical personal could get to him. 

Umaga was later given the Pierre de Coubertin medal due to his unselfish display of sportsmanship and the Welsh Rugby Union honoured him for his act of sporting kindness.

Mike Brown – 2018

Times and Star:

English full-back Mike Brown doesn’t have the best reputation among the rugby fans but in 2018 he earned the respect of some Welsh fans.

Brown scored a try against Agen while playing for Harlequins in the Challenge Cup, however Brown informed referee Ian Davies that he had lost the ball and knocked it forward. Harlequins went on to win the fixture and Brown’s act of sportsmanship was shared on social media by rugby fans all over the world.

Nelson Mandela Presents Rugby World Cup Trophy

Times and Star:

During 1995 when the Rugby World Cup took place in South Africa, the country was still dealing with the effect of apartheid.  

South Africa won the tournament and captain Francois Pienaar accepted the William Webb Ellis Cup from president Nelson Mandela. It was an iconic moment, few would have ever believed that the Spingbok’s white captain would be accepting the tournament trophy from the country’s black president.

In 2009, the film Invictus told the story of South Africa’s journey to the World Cup trophy.

Pacific Nations at the Rugby League World Cup – 2017

Times and Star:

The 2017 Rugby League World Cup displayed unity, respect and sportsmanship between the nations hailing from the Pacific.

Although some violence occurred outside the ground between Tonga and Samoa the players came together following the game, hugged, knelt and prayed.

New Zealand were defeated by underdogs Fiji, 4-2, in the quarterfinals. It was a humiliating defeat for the Kiwis rugby league team, following the game Zealand’s players joined together with the Fijians and sang a hymn together to show unity.

The Fiji team later lost to Australia in the semi-finals, 54-6. The distraught Fijians were joined by several members of the Aussie team after the game to sing together to once again show unity between teams from the Pacific region.