Jean Galia was a rugby pioneer in France and is credited with establishing rugby league in France in 1934 and it was on this day in rugby in 1905 that he was born.
Galia got his start in rugby playing rugby union. He made his rugby union international debut for France against England in 1927. But he became known for his work with rugby league. In 1934, Galia arranged a rugby league tour of Yorkshire and Lancashire.
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After a tour of England, Galia arranged a series of rugby league demonstration matches around France and on April 6, 1934 the French Rugby League was formed. The demonstrations worked as within five years there were almost as many rugby league clubs as rugby union and by 1939 they numbered 450.
His work earned him a place on the Courtney Goodwill Trophy, international rugby leagues first, in 1936.
He was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 1988.
1905 - Jean Galia, French rugby footballer (d. 1949)
1979 - Keven Mealamu, New Zealand rugby player
2008 - Eric Ashton, English rugby league footballer (b. 1935)