The women's game is now very much a part of modern rugby. There is a thriving club scene in England and Wales, an annual Five Nations Championship and even a well-organised four-yearly World Cup.

But things weren't always so structured in the women's game nor was it even accepted and taken seriously. As recently as 1974 the only women's matches likely to take place were charity games. One such game, staged at the ground of London Irish, featured a team of models against a team of actresses.

The coverage of the match deplored the lack of rough stuff and with sexist overtones reported: 'There was always the mirror. They stood in front of it at half-time repairing the damage to their carefully-prepared make-up.'

To add to the novelty of the occasion the girls played with two rugby footballs in the second half. 'It gave the fans two beautiful contests for the price of one,' it was recorded. Final score: Actresses 10; Models 10.

From Rugby's Strangest Matches by John Griffiths, 2000.