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14 November 2014
As the 2014 All Black rugby team get ready for their clash with Scotland my mind goes back to 1978 when the 'Scottish Daily' record 'got the drop' on the rest of the newsmedia with this great wee yarn.
Somebody on the paper's staff must have looked at the names of the All Black team and with players in it with names like Ash McGregor, Brian McKechnie, Stuart Wilsoin, Richard Wilson and 'Duggie' Bruce and then and there it was suggested that it'd be worthwhile to further study if there were any others with strong Scottish lineage.
Indeed there was and soon no fewer than 15 players were proudly announcing they were 'part Scottish' and that their family heritage was there for all the world to see. See if you can identify the above team; and i will publish it down the bottom of the page here; The 'Scottish Daily Record' produced appropriate kilts and the great photo was taken. My copy only exists as a kept clipping from their newspaper.
Meantime there is another All Black team from Scottish history which has been pulled together on this trip from the supporters who are following the 2014 All Blacks around UK.
We're calling it a 'FULL' 'All Mac' team chosen from All Blacks with Scottish heritage.
Seeing as last week keithquinnrugby.com published the 'All Black-England XV' which was made up of players with English-sounding name backgrounds here nowis the main "All Black-All Mac" team from AB history. And what fun it was us to come up with these names for you
It will be interesting to see how many 2014 All Blacks have surnames which suggest Scottish forebears.. Many less in 2014 I suppose.
The only rule was the players had to be in their correct playing positions and players were listed not necessarily by talent, only in the order they were called out. This selection took about four minutes for my bus to complete!
The Quinn bus team of 2014; Leon MacDonald, Bruce McPhail, Scott McLeod, Duncan McGregor, Luke McAlister, Brian McKechnie, Paul McGahan, Hugh McLaren, Richie McCaw, Hamish Macdonald, Mike McCool, Angus Macdonald, Jamie Macintosh, Bruce McLeod and Steve McDowell.
All good names - and many more for you to toss around yourselves - in those moment before kickoff!!
[And how was your recognition of the team from 1978? here is a list of those players from the first 'All Mac's' team (left to right) ; Billy Bush, Andy Dalton, Doug Bruce, Eddie Dunn, John Black, John Fleming, Dave Loveridge, Graham Mourie, Brad Johnstone, Robert Kururangi, Richard Wilson, Stuart Wilson, Brian McKechnie, Barry Ashworth and Ash McGregor.]
Keith Arnold was a flanker who played in such a fiery manner an Aussie commentator Bill Cerutti called him a 'Killer' in 1947. The name stuck!
Hawke’s Bay, East Coast and New Zealand
9 internationals for New Zealand 1924–30
A legendary figure in a legendary team, the 1924 ‘Invincible’ All Blacks. Only 19 at the time, George Nepia played all 38 matches during that gruelling tour of Australia, Britain, Ireland, France and Canada.
British sides were unstinting in their praise of Nepia, the rock on whom so many of their attacks foundered. His courage under the high ball and in repelling foot rushes, the crunching certainty of his tackling and the strength of his spiraled line kicking – all of these combined to restrict opposition teams to no more than 180 points against the All Blacks in the 38 games.
Nepia could also run with the ball. He had started his first-class career as a wing, then a five-eighth, before outstanding fullback displays in 1924 resulted in his being chosen as the only last line of defence. Early in the tour of Britain he made a sizzling run, but the dictatorial Mark Nicholls told him to leave the running to his five-eighths and three-quarters: his job was to defend. It was not until the 37th match of the tour, in Canada, that Nepia scored his first try!
A bogus telegram which advised the selectors of Nepia’s ‘unavailability’ cost him a place with the New Zealand Maoris’ trend-setting tour to Britain in 1927, and his All Black career finished after the 1930 home series against the British Isles. After a temporary retirement, Nepia returned to bid for a place with the 1935–36 All Blacks to tour Britain but was surprisingly not selected, though then playing as well as at any time of his career.
With his financial security in tatters at the end of the Depression, Nepia readily accepted the lure of rugby league money and played two seasons in England, and then for New Zealand. Reinstated to rugby in what was then called the ‘war-time amnesty’ which allowed rugby league professionals to return without recrimination to the amateur rugby union, Nepia played for East Coast in 1947, and in 1950 captained the Olympians club in a first-class fixture against Poverty Bay. George Nepia, father and son, were the fullbacks and captains on this historic day, George senior being 45 years old at the time.
He became an active referee and many spectators went to games just to watch Nepia referee, rather than see the two teams doing battle.
On the Teen Rugby Show on TV in New Zealand (on 18 July 2006) which All Black used the words; 'bugger, shit, shits and shithouse' in a five minute item.