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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.]
The wettest day ever saw NZ beat Scotland 24-0 at the Eden Park pool! Deep puddles everywhere. The ABs swam better than their opponents!
Wellington, New Zealand
15 internationals for N. Zealand 1972–77
The Scottish TV commentator Bill McLaren best described this busy and talented All Black. He said that Batty went at his game like a ‘little buzz-saw’, and indeed he did.
Grant Batty was a rarity in All Black rugby of the early 1970s. He was a back (a wing mostly) who had genuine speed, aggression and inventiveness. Although small in stature, he was never one to step back from a physical confrontation, no matter how imposing his opponent might have been. Not everyone in New Zealand could cope with a player of his brilliance and physical approach, and although New Zealanders were more than grateful on several occasions for his feisty presence on the field, he was always regarded as controversial.
Batty was received in a similar light wherever he played in the rugby world. Cardiff crowds booed him when he played there with the All Blacks in 1972–73. He replied by playing brilliantly. South African crowds treated him the same way. Batty responded by showing immense courage and playing on even after sustaining a near-crippling knee injury. Such was his value to the All Blacks that they insisted on playing him in the tests even though he had to run about with a metal cast hidden under his knee bandages.
Sadly, Batty’s knee problems became so bad he was forced out of rugby at the age of 25.
Controversial he might have been, but the crowds in New Zealand and elsewhere always flocked in to watch Batty.
He later shifted to Australia and by the 1990s had begun a long-term association on the coaching staff of the Queensland Reds team and other club sides.
When did an international rugby team play a full game and then travel to another country to play a second full game on the same day?