Charlie Sapsford died on 27 January 1997 in Auckland New Zealand aged 73.For
those RU fans with an historical bent, Charles Somerford Sapsford was the
first Rugby player to play for both England (just) and the All Blacks (eat
your heart out Jamie Salmon).
Born in Orpington Kent in 1924 Sapsford was a last minute substitute for
Colin Lamberton at centre in the 1948 Parc de Chailly (as it then was) test
againt France. This was his only appearance in the white jumper and he was
dumped from the English side shortly thereafter. He emigrated to New
Zealand in 1950. He played club rugby for the Ponsonby club in Auckland
from 1950 to 1963 (obviously a good keen man) and in 1954 he was called into
the All Black squad as back up centre/wing for the Rob Urlich/Ron Jarden
combination. Urlich was injured before the second test against Australia and
Charles Sapsford played.
He never lost his love for English Rugby and was last interviewed by John
McBeth of TVNZ before the England - All Blacks semi in SA 1995.