Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
9 August 2014
GOOD NEWS AT LAST FOR OUR 'PINETREE!'
With the merging of the two previously rival Rugby Halls of Fame it now means that the oversight (well that's been my view for eight years or so) of Colin Meads of New Zealand not being recognised by the International Rugby Board has been corrected.
When the privately-owned International Rugby Hall of Fame started in 1997 Meads was one of the 'First XV' inducted in London. But when the IRB began their own Hall of Fame nine years later, there was seemingly no place anywhere for Meads. That was even though he was voted New Zealand's 'Player of the Century' by the New Zealand public in 1999 and had been Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.
In the meantime well over 100 other individual players, officials, coaches, teams and media from all over the world had been inducted. But no Meads!
Though no one was ever given a reason it has now been rectified, albeit at a late time in the great New Zealander's life.
Richard Hugh McCaw - to be known universally as Richie - came into the world.
Mont-de-Marsan and France
63 internationals for France 1964–72
Benoit Dauga was a highly versatile forward who played for his country in three positions – lock, No. 8 and flanker. A lineout specialist, he was an expert leaper and dispatcher of the ball to his halfback. Some of the media called him the ‘control tower’ of French 1ineout play, and others the ‘Eiffel Tower’. He was also a strong runner and a highly competitive forward.
Dauga’s debut in international rugby was not auspicious. He had to wait until his fifth test before he was in a winning team (v Italy 1964). He maintained his place in French test teams until he reached 63 caps, which equalled the record set by Michel Crauste in 1966.
A big man, Dauga stood 1.94 metres tall (6 feet 41/2in) and weighed 110 kilograms (17 stone). His frame was such that he stretched rugby shirts to their limit and socks could not pass over his calf muscles! He also had what some might describe as a prominent nose. Colin Meads, his New Zaaland lineout rival, once light-heartedly said of Dauga, 'He's the only man I know who could smoke a cigarette while taking a shower!'
Dauga was highly regarded and played in most countries in the rugby world, including New Zealand and Australia in 1968, and South Africa in 1971. He was a French captain as well.
His rugby playing days ended in 1975 when he was injured in a club match for his beloved Mont-de-Marsan, suffering temporary paralysis of the arms and legs, and requiring a long spell in hospital before recovering his fitness and resuming his interest in the game.
If there were a New Zealand rugby NPC State-of-Origin contest, which province would Grant Fox play for?