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The following cable from London bears date January 30: — Mr Mulineux has arranged for a powerful football team to visit the colonies. It will include the following international players : — Byrne, Huzzey, Nicholls, Fookes, J. T. Timmins, Elliott, Dudgeon, Jarmen, Gibson, Stout, and Franks. The remainder of the team will consist of country players. These names as cabled indicate that the nucleus of a strong English team has beer, collected. I do not know who Timtnins ar.d Gibson may be but the rest may probably be identified as follows: — J. F. Byrne (Aloiseley*, full back; V. Huzzey (Cardiff), E. Gwyn Nicholls (Cardiff), E. F. Fookes (Sowerby), three-quarterbacks ; M. Elliott (Havrich) or J. Elliott (Cardiff), half-back ; H. W. Dudgeon (Richmond), F. M. Stout (Gloucester), J. Wallace Jarineu (Bristol), and N. Franks (Dublin University). There is a three quarterback named R. Hussey in the Gl3:i^ester.Maro team, but he is not an internat'dial player. Neither is Jarmen, for that matter, but he was selected this season to play for the Rest ef England against the Universities, and consequently is not far off the international ranks. Bryne, Fookes, Dudgeon, and Stout nre English representative players ; M. Elliott is a Scotch international, and J. Elliott has been capped for Wales ; Nicholls and Huzzey are Welsh international players; and Franks j played for Ireland in the Emerald Isle's on gagements last year. About the various members of the team I shall have information from a reliable source to communicate later on. In the meantime, I may say that J. F. Byrne, who played full back for England in all the international en- j gagements last year, is recognised as a great player in that position. In the match against Scotland in 1897 he dropped a magnificent goal. His one infirmity is a tendency sometimes to delay his kick too long, and co get charged down. E. F. Fookes is described by Mr Arthur Budd as a valuable if not a great player. He is athletically built, active on the . field, and possesses plenty of dash. He in- | dulges too much in the short kick over the ] would-be tackler's head with a follow-on in the hope of getting the ball again before an opponent can reach it. Dudgeon is a resolute player, with a finished style. He knows the game by heart, and is always fit, and is altogether a most useful man on a side. Jarmen is described in the Athletic News as a forward of sterling ability, and a most conscientious worker. He never shirks the hard labour of the scrums, yet he can follow up as well as most men, and is a very awkward fellow to stop when he gets the ball at his feet in the open. The' New Zealand Rugby Union has discussed a letter from the New South Wales Union respecting the amount of guarantee likely to be received from the New Zealand Union for a visit from the English team. The N.Z. Union is without funds, and it was decided to refer the question to the Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland Unions as to the apsistance they may offer. j The twenty-sixth match between {he Oxford i and Cambridge Universities, played recently, was won by Cambridge by 11 point 3to nil. I Early in the game T. A. Nelson (the Oxford j captain) had his nose broken. He played on | until approaching half-time, when he sprained his ankle, and was then compelled to retire. Oxford has won ten and Cambridge nine of . the 19 matches already decided , seven having been drawn. I

A meeting of the committee of the Olago Rugby Football Union was hold on Monday afternoon, and attended by Messrs Gallaway (president), Campbell, Duncan, Miccall, and Hutchison. A sub-committee was appointed to draft the annual report. A letter was received from the New Zealand Union covering a, decision of the English Union upon a cape presented by the Otago Referees' Association. The English Union's decision was that Uie picking up of the ball in a scrummage with the knees was not illegal ; but as this did not meet tho point raised by the Referees' Association, a? to the legality of carrying the ball between the knees in a scrummage after it had been picked up, it was agreed to remit the^ question again for the consideration of the English Union. Correspondence was read respecting the anticipated visit to New Zenland of an English team; bu; as a further communication on the subject was expected almost immediately it was deoided by the committee to adjourn for a week, and then to take the matter into consideration. It was further agreed that all clubs which had not paid their clues should at next week's meeting be struck off the roll of the union.

A telefjram from Wellington Fayp: — A committee of football enthusiasts liore, who have, like many ot'icr people. Ion?; felt that the present mle3 of Rugby football arc yearly becoming more cumbrous, confuted, and opposed to good play, have taken the bull by the horns, and aftf>r inviting opini')u-> ftf t ->iv uul'iOiilSo, o-i tic came in vnrioa<- nails <<i 1 1 if 'duny fiami-d :> series of diri'ii' Hinoi rli, <-nU. v.'liuli "ill be submitted lo the T'-'c ' "iiionF, ruifl to tho hr'\ 7,p>'<ii'l '"ili-1,1 'II I,'1 ,' ]rttt.or will •end ihb i'r. U .idoTjieH to 'Lc Lnjsli-l Union,

and invite the latter's earnest consideration of the improvements proposed, and it _is uretty well understood that if the English Union show their usual obstinacy in refusing to accept the alterations, which experience has shown to be clearly advisable, the Now Zealand Union will then consider the propriety of adopting them on their own account. The principal alterations suggested are : Points as follows : Goal from try, 5 points ; try, 4; penalty goal, 2; any other goal, 3 ; force-down, half a point. The last is an innovation, and will only count if no major points are scored. Goal from a punt is "to be allowed. Charging-in at the kicks is abolished. The game will not be stopped if the ball touches the referee. Four spells may be played instead of two to prevent undue advantage being obtained from the wind, and after a try the ball will be kicked off again from the half distance. Wing play is abolished, and knocking-on t cannot be penalised unless it is wilful. In order to avoid incessant scrambling on the touch-lines when the ball goes out il musl be thrown in at least five yards. Thp last two alterations will make an enormous difference in the incessant stoppages that now occur in every game. There are a number of minor alterations in the direotion of simplifying the rules. Some of the alterations suggested above appear to me of a retrograde character. .1 do not propose to go fully into tho question now — football is still out of season — but I may indicate what the proposals are that I conceive to be objectionable. * In the first place, the suggestion to allow half a point for a touch down — there is no such thing as a force down mentioned in the laws — would, if adopted, place a premium on bad play. It is not good football to score touch downs. The game is to secure tries and goals, and the team which fails to score tries but gets touch downs instead proves itself deficient in attack. To allow a force down to score is to encourage hard, wild kioking. Then, again, a single point for a goal from a try is insufficient. Good place kicks are rare enough without discouraging place kicking as would be the effect of adopting Ihis suggestion. The proposal to allow punted goals seems to me absurd. It is a proposition of a levelling-down order, for almost anyone could punt a goal. Drop-kicking, which might be made a pretty feature of the game, is too rmich neglected, and I protest strongly against any proposition to place a simple operation like punting on the came footing in respect to its value for scoring purposes as drop-kicking, which is not far removed from an art. I fail to see how the playing of four spells instead of two is going to prevent an undue advantage from the wind, but on this point I am open to conviction, as well as with reference to the suggestion that after a try the ball should be kicked off from the half • distance. I cannot cay that at present I am enamoured of this idea. I have seen it recommended that after a try the ball should be kicked off from the goal line. The present suggestion goes to the opposite extreme. lam inclined to think that the happy mean is the best.

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FOOTBALL. NOTES BY FORWARD. Otago Witness, Issue 2346, 9 February 1899

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