The First World Cup Final

13 November 1954            France 12  Great Britain 16     Parc de Princes, Paris

The First Rugby League World Cup was organized by the French RL under Paul Barriere and took place in France in 1954. This was 33 years before the first RU equivalent. AustraliaFrance, GB and NZ took part and the teams were evenly matched although GB were forced, through injuries/withdrawals, to select an inexperienced squad led by Scotsman Dave Valentine. It was a pleasant surprise when they made the final against the home team. France led early in the second half due to a try from Cantoni but Great Britain fought back with their their dominance in the forwards and centre Phil Jackson playing a starring role. France had played a tough match against Australia in Nantes two days earlier. The BBC broadcast the match live in the UK which was a novelty for the time


        Dave Valentine


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