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20 August 2014
John Roughan in the New Zealand Herald recently wondered if the All Blacks of today have lost the art of losing gracefully. The great Fred Allen was a hard man who drove his team's hard for test wins. Nothing else mattered but to win. His teams played tough for 80 minutes. Yet see how he lost so generously here in 1949 - with the South African captain Felix du Plessis. And Fred's team lost all four tests in a row on that tour!
Andy Haden and Frank Oliver conjured up a lineout dive v Wales in Cardiff to fool the ref into giving NZ a penalty; that later led to a 13-12 AB win.
Canterbury, Marlborough, Waikato, Auckland and New Zealand
6 internationals for New Zealand 1946–49
Fred Allen was one of the truly giant personalities of New Zealand rugby in the 30 years after the end of World War II. After being ﬁrst recognised as a star of the famous New Zealand Army team (the Kiwis) which toured Britain in 1945–46, he gained selection and the captaincy of his country in 1946. He was also made captain for two All Black tours, to Australia in 1947 and to South Africa in 1949, though he was dropped – at his own behest – for the ﬁnal two tests in 1949.
After his playing days were over, Allen continued to make a remarkable contribution to New Zealand rugby.
He became coach of the Auckland team and took it through one of the province’s greatest eras. Under Allen’s guidance, Auckland defended the Ranfurly Shield 25 times, then a record, between 1960–63.
From 1964 Allen progressed to selecting and coaching All Black teams. He and Charlie Saxton, his captain from the Kiwis 20 years before, formed a formidable managerial team behind the 1967 All Blacks in Great Britain. That side was unbeaten and is remembered as one of the best international teams to have visited Britain.
He retired as All Black coach in 1968 having had team which played in 37 games for 36 wins.
In his later years Allen continued to be a highly respected and recognisable personality in the game in New Zealand. He was knighted in 2010 and died in 2012, aged 92.
What was significant about J.I.Rees (Wales) and W.R.Logan (Scotland) captaining their countries against each other in 1937?