May 8, 1996
The battle lines between rugby union and rugby league were drawn decades ago but Bath and Wigan Warriors crossed over to play a two game series and the first game of the series took place on this day in rugby history in 1996.
Wigan, the rugby league champions, put their stamp on the proceedings and belief that their code was the better of the two with a 82-6 win at Maine Road in Manchester.
The outcome was not that much of a surprise to anyone at the match or even on the Bath side. They had lost in a preparation match second string South Wales team a few days earlier. Bath’s own Jeremy Guscott knew better than to suit up for the match.
It was not all lost for rugby union, however. In the return leg under union rules on May 25 at Twickenham Bath won 44-19.
So the argument can go on as to which is better.