Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
13 May 2016
Maybe 15 years ago, shortly after the great Zinzan Brooke retired from test rugby he did a series of rugby luncheons and dinners around New Zealand. They were sponsored by Ronald McDonald House and at them Zinny regailed the audiences in fine style with his many stories, yarns and rugby tour memories. One of his best memories was how he originally was named Zinzan Valentine Brooke by his family; then later he became known just by the shortened 'Zinzan Brooke' and later still when a great national presence grew in recognition of his enormous All Black talent he was known by young and old by gthe very friendly 'Zinny.'
I was the MC at the Wellington luncheon and I leaned across at one point and asked Zinzan to please sign the menu for my son. (Of course I knew damn well it was for me actually) The great man obliged with all three signatures of the unique 'naming' story he had just told the crowd.
I liked this - as a record of Zinny's quirky manner. And I wonder if it is a rare piece indeed - not worth much in monetary terms but in rugby terms - priceless!
1932-34 All Black Ernest "Ned' Barry was born on this day; he and his son Kevin (1962-64) and Liam (1993-1995) became the first 'three-generation' All Black family.
Dax and France
30 internationals for France 1954–64
Known universally as ‘Monsieur Le Drop’ because of his penchant for dropped goals, Albaladejo was also a very ﬁne ﬂyhalf.
Tall and stylish in the French style, Albaladejo made his debut as a fullback in 1954 against England. After one game in the Five Nations championship, and another against Italy, he was passed over by the selectors for ﬁve seasons.
Re-appearing in 1960, Albaladejo soon won a reputation as an expert drop-kicker. In his second international of that year, against Ireland, he thumped over three dropped goals, a feat unheard of at the time.
After his retirement, Albaladejo won acclaim in France as a television commentator, providing expert insights on the game all over the world, working ﬁrst with the famous French broadcaster Roger Couderc and later with his replacement, Pierre Salviac.
In 1987 and 2011 the All Blacks were the first rugby nation to win the World Cup twice; but which country was the first to win the World Cup's THIRD place match twice?