With news emerging of a titanic clash between football club Olympique De Marseille and rugby club Toulon in France we take a look back at some of the other great occasions of rugby going head to head with other sports…
In 1874 during the origins of American Football, the Harvard team travelled to Montreal to play McGill and ended up winning the game by three tries. It was at this stage that the touchdown was introduced to Football for the first time.
The Jacksonville Experiment
The Barons Brewing Jacksonville Axemen won the first ever American Football vs. Rugby League game by 38 to 27 in 2009. After two quarters of American Football the Jacksonville Knights had a 27 to 6 lead over the Axemen. After the pads came off for the second half, fitness was the key factor as the Axemen put in 32 points to get the win.
The first ever Lions tour results in the squad competing in 19 games of Aussie rules football that yielded 6 victories despite the team having never experienced the sport before. The fact that the tour was captained by the Ashes cricket captains Arthur Shrewsbury and Alfred Shaw only heightens the players achievements.
The Cross Coder
In May 1996 Bath Rugby and Wigan Warriors competed in a cross code challenge comprising of one game of League and one game of Union. Wigan won the first game under League rules 82 – 6 with cross-coder Martin Offiah scoring six tries in the process. Bath came back in the second leg and won under Union rules 44 – 19.
Bowling Out in Style
Last year the Doncaster Knights recorded a historic win over their cricketing counterparts as they won the cricket match by five wickets with three overs remaining. The game was such a success both teams will be looking to make it an annual event.
Although there are a number of reports out there of football versus rugby games at lower levels, Le Choc (The Shock) is by far and away the most high profile of its type as Olympique De Marseille take on Toulon. The match will be refereed by Marc Lievremont and Eric Cantona as the two teams battle out a half of each code for charity.
How do you think Le Choc will turn out? Any other big sporting cross-overs we’ve missed?