Following the performance of the 1984 Wallabies in utilising the Powerhouse to achieve unexpected dominance in the scrum during their Grand Slam tour, including their historic pushover try against Wales at the Arms Park, orders for the machine began to pour in from all around the UK and Europe and expressions of interest from all around the world. The Australian squad, and coach Alan Jones in particular, were particularly vociferous and generous in their praise for the machine calling it ‘the finest forward coaching aid ever devised’.
It was from the 1985 season that Rhino began its Official Supplier status with England, and it became routine from this time for the RFU and other home unions to provide visiting sides with a Powerhouse for scrum training. Another breakthrough was when Brian Lohore’s All Blacks used the machine extensively on a tour to France in 1986. Rhino’s advert at the time of the inaugural World Cup in 1987 listed Scotland, Wales, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Italy, Australia and the United States as sides using the machine. The Powerhouse had therefore by this time achieved undisputed ‘world best’ status – something Rhino has aspired to continue to this day.
Overseas sales agents were by this time in place in Japan, Canada/the United States, and Australia/New Zealand, all other markets continuing to be covered from the firm’s modest HQ in Kings Nympton in Devon. The global achievements of Format Physical Education products were recognised in the award of South West regional small business of the year in 1987, and the principals decided shortly afterwards that the time had come to take the profile of firm to the next stage, involving incorporation, a new name and a capital raising exercise. At the same time product ranges were expanded to include general contact equipment, line out machines, head protectors, balls and even boots. The core of the business remained, however, and arguably always will, the best scrum machines in the world..