The greatest scrum-halves of all time: Ken Catchpole

first_img Australia’s Ken Catchpole Major teams: Randwick, NSWCountry: Australia
Test span: 1961-68Australia caps: 27 (27 starts)Test points: 9 (3T)He captained Australia on his Test debut and 12 other occasions, he set a new standard in scrum-half play, was heralded by Dudley Harrison, the RFU president in 1966, as “the greatest half-back the world has known”, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Twickenham in 2004, the new Australia Rugby Union equivalent in 2005 and the IRB Hall of Fame in 2013. Without a doubt, he is a legend among the legends.Born in Sydney in 1939, Catchpole was a good schoolboy athlete as well as rugby player. He joined the Randwick club and made his New South Wales debut against the Lions in 1959, aged just 19.Two years later he was picked to captain Australia for a three-Test series against Fiji – the ninth player to lead a Test side on debut – and over the following eight years he formed a ground-breaking half-back combination with Phil Hawthorne. The sharp service they offered set up many a famous victory during the 1960s and produced a change in style from an age when the backs had spread across the width of the pitch, as this pair employed more short passes and Catchpole used his great speed off the mark to cut through defences. He was in his pomp in back-to-back wins over South Africa in 1965 and on a tour of the UK, Ireland and France in 1966-67 when he was captain of the Wallabies once more and guided them to a then record 23-11 win over England. TAGS: The Greatest Players LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Catchpole’s career came to a premature end just before his 29th birthday when All Blacks lock Colin Meads tried to drag him out of a ruck by one leg – unaware that Catchpole’s other leg was trapped. The Australian tore his hamstring from the bone and ruptured his groin.Club players in New South Wales still know the Catchpole name well, as every year they vie for the Ken Catchpole Medal, awarded to the winner of a season-long vote by referees. One of the greatest scrum-halves to grace the field, it’s hard to know where to begin when listing the achievements of Australian, Ken Catchpolelast_img read more

Salvaged papers shed light on Blanchot

first_imgAs a novelist, literary theorist, journalist and philosopher, Maurice Blanchot (1907–2003) had a profound impact on the thinking of dozens of philosophers, novelists, and writers. Until recently, however, it remained unclear how Blanchot’s thinking had evolved over his lifetime. A famously reclusive figure in the literary world, it was believed Blanchot had destroyed most of his personal papers before his death.With the Houghton Library’s recent acquisition of corrected page proofs of Blanchot’s major 1969 work L’Entretien Infini (“The Infinite Conversation”), however, scholars should soon be able to shed new light on Blanchot’s changing political and literary attitudes.The pages were salvaged from a rubbish bin by the husband of Blanchot’s long-time housekeeper, and contain numerous handwritten annotations by Blanchot, along with typewritten sheets inserted into the proofs – some of which consist of small slips taped over pages, while others are multiple pages in length.The proofs, along with several other Blanchot manuscripts, came up for sale in March 2009. Hoping the material might find an institutional home where it could be preserved and made accessible to scholars, Smith Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Professor of Comparative Literature Christy McDonald approached Leslie Morris, Houghton Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts with the idea of purchasing the items.McDonald has already put the material to scholarly use, examining the pages for an article, co-authored by Morris, for “The Romance Sphere,” an online journal of Harvard’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Written in the form of a dialog, the article traces the material’s provenance, and McDonald highlights three key changes Blanchot made to his original text.The material is also attracting interest among scholars outside Harvard. Shortly after acquiring the proofs, Morris said, a Ph.D. candidate in the United Kingdom traveled to Houghton to examine the pages, and other researchers have studied them in Houghton’s reading room.last_img read more