January 15 - 1919 NZ Army 'Divisional XV' win

In their first match since returning from the European battlefields the “Divisional XV” had a comfortable 26 – 0 over a Public Schools’ Old Boys selection at Richmond.

Though it was the team’s first hit out in England, a “NZ Division” team, with much the same personnel as the “Divisional XV” had beaten a French Selection 14 – 0 at the Parc de Princes in Paris on 27 October 1918.

With the war having ended in November sport became important in giving the troops something to do while waiting to return home. A New Zealand Army team was to be selected after a trial match between the “U K XV” (chosen from soldiers from the various depots in England) and the “Divisional XV”. The game against Public Schools’ Old Boys was held just three days before the trial.

The Divisional XV was a strong one, with a numbers of All Blacks: wing “Jockey” Ford, centre Jack Stohr, five eight/centre Jim Ryan, halfback Charles Brown, wing or loose forward “Moke” Bellis, loose forward James Douglas and hooker Mick Cain. An oddity about the selection was that two players, Brown and Stohr, had played for the “UK XV” a few days previously.

The Public Schools’ OB selection included three quarter R Hamilton-Wickes who was on the wing for England in the 1925 test against the All Blacks, the one New Zealand won despite having Cyril Brownlie sent off in the first few minutes of the match.

New Zealand personnel and scorers for these Services matches have mostly been recorded. But for this Divisional XV v Public Schools’ OB encounter records simply state “For Divisional XV.: six tries; four conversions”.