Rhino CEO Reg Clark took the opportunity of a recent Lions sponsors visit to Australia ahead of next year’s tour, to have a series of reunions in Sydney and at the first test against Wales in Brisbane with former friends and colleagues with links to his past with Oxford University RFC and Kobe Steel in Japan.
After winning Blues in 1978 and 1979 with Oxford, Clark played for 3 seasons with the Kobe Steel side in Japan, and after a City career rejoined the company in London. Before that in 1985 he helped establish the Kobe Steel Scholarships for Australian students at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. In Brisbane he was able to meet Wallabies Bill Campbell and Ian Williams both of whom were Kobe Scholars and who played in the 1987 and 1988 Varsity Matches respectively. In addition to these two, Clark was able to link up with Simon Wensley, who played alongside Williams in the 1988 Oxford side, and afterwards joined him in the Kobe Steel side which won seven consecutive Japanese championships in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Campbell who won 22 Australian caps as a lock from 1986 to 1990 is now a leading vascular surgeon in Melbourne, and Williams a partner with law firm Ashursts in Sydney and Brisbane. Williams won 17 caps for the Wallabies, including 2 against the 1989 Lions, and remarkably also one for Japan in 1993 against Wales in Cardiff. Welshman Wensley is now Chief Operating Officer with Rio Tino Energy in Brisbane.
Earlier Clark was able to link up with current Australian Team Manager Bob Egerton and New Zealand 1987 World Cup Winning captain David Kirk, both residents of Sydney and both also members with Williams and Wensley of Oxford’s 1988 side which is considered by many to be their best ever.
Ian Williams, Reg Clark and Simon Wensley before the recent Australia – Wales test.
Reg Clark with Bill Campbell, in Brisbane.