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6 May 2015
G'day there! Yes, keithquinnrugby.com has been quiet for a few weeks. That's because I am currently out of New Zealand on a private holiday. Yes a holiday! I hope you have noticed my absence! But now here on this website and in the days and weeks to come I'll bring you photographs of some of the incredible sights my wife Anne and I have seen these last few weeks. We are visiting six countries in Europe and North America. The picture you see here is from a wonderful art work which is now available for Scottish people and overseas tourists to enjoy.
OK, some of my pictures might not be about rugby but just as when your old favourite Uncle and Auntie want to show you their best holiday 'snaps' sit back and enjoy ours!
These giant horsey figures are 'The Kelpies' which are two sculptures paying tribute to the heavy horses which pulled boats and cargo along two main canals in the north of Scotland, near the town of Falkirk. The name derives from the mythical Celtic water horses which could transform their shape and were reputed to have the strength of 10 horses and massive endurance.
The two sculptures are 30 metres tall (that's 295 'hands' if you're a horsey person!) and were put onto the site in just 90 days in April 2014, just before the Commonwealth Games in Scotland were held.
Each sculpture weighs 300 tonnes and each is comprised of more than 13,000 individual pieces of sculptural steel. They are the work of the brilliant Glasgow-based artist Andy Scott.
In their first year of existence a million people visited them and gasped in admiration! I can tell you I did the same.
[see more pictures from my world trip by going back to the Home Page here and clicking on either 'Quinn's News Comment' or 'Favourite Photos']
And it's three titles too for captain Farah Palmer. In the final in Edmonton, Canada, New Zealand beat England 25-17
Auckland and New Zealand
41 internationals for N. Zealand 1977–85
A 2 metres (6ft 6ins) tall lock forward, at one time the tallest man to play internationals for his country, Andy Haden became a giant in the sport in other ways. He rose above early arguments that he was not aggressive enough to make a career as a top-class international forward, and by the end of his time in top rugby he was one of New Zealand’s great locks.
Haden had excellent lineout skills, was a solid scrummager, and around the field he often surprised with his mobility. As a captain and touring All Black he became one of the craftiest competitors in the game. Every Welshman will tell you how Haden ‘cheated’ to make referee Roger Quittenton award a last-minute penalty to New Zealand against Wales at Cardiff in 1978. The big New Zealander tilted and dived out of a lineout, giving the impression that he had been pushed. When the penalty – awarded for an offence by Geoff Wheel, not for Haden’s dive – was converted into points by Brian McKechnie, the All Blacks won the game by 13 points to 12. Years later Haden still has to live with Welsh criticism of his dive that day.
He first made the New Zealand team for the 1972–73 tour of Britain and France, but did not make the international games on that tour, and after being dropped the following year, he disappeared off the New Zealand domestic scene for a time. He continued to play rugby, but combined it with seeing the world, becoming one of the first truly global footballers, playing for clubs in France, England and Italy.
Back in New Zealand in 1976, Haden was chosen for the All Black team for the tour to Argentina where, under captain Graham Mourie and coach Jack Gleeson, he blossomed, playing in both the unofficial tests. By 1977 he was drafted into the All Black test team for his first official caps. Thereafter Haden was a regular choice for his country and he went on every tour on offer, except when business interests interrupted his rugby in 1983 and 1984.
Haden became one of the champions of players’ rights and he took on the rugby establishment in New Zealand. His attempts to better the lot of New Zealand’s international players led to misunderstanding and suspicion of him, resulting in charges of professionalism being laid on him by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1984. He defended these successfully, though there were many who were not as convinced of his innocence in 1986 when he was part of the organising of the unauthorised Cavaliers’ tour to South Africa. Charges were leveled that the team took payment to play its tour and Haden, as one of the principal organisers, faced many questions on his return.
Haden played his final game for New Zealand in 1985 in Buenos Aires on the All Black tour that replaced the cancelled official tour to South Africa. He had accumulated 41 test caps and 117 tour matches for his country.
What was unique about the Hastings brothers, Gavin and Scott, when they made their debuts for Scotland?