Russian born but English bred, Prince Alexander Sergeevich Obolensky was born on this day in Rugby history in 1916. The Prince represented the England National Rugby team 4 times but had one of the best tries in team history.
Obolensky was born in Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg) but after the Russian Revolution of 1917 his parents were forced to flee the country and settled in London. After playing rugby while growing up, Obolensky was called to the England national team for their match on January 4, 1936 against the New Zealand All Blacks.
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The call-up came with controversy. While Obolensky had grown up in England and had become a British citizen, traditionalist did not think he should qualify for the side.
But the Prince quickly made people forget those complaints when he scored two tries to help England down New Zealand 13-0 for their first win over the All Blacks. His first try was considered as one of the best of the ear and possible the best in England history.
Prince Obolensky won three more caps for England - against Wales on 18 January, Ireland on 8 February and Scotland on 21 March – but did not score any more tries. He also represented Barbarian F.C. between 1937 and 1939, scoring 3 tries.
1916 - Alexander Obolensky, Russian prince and famed Rugby Union footballer who played for England (d. 1940)