Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
6 November 2014
ALL BLACK'S "ENGLISH" TEAM
The experience of motoring around Britain certainly is fun. Our two coach loads on the Williment Sport supporter’s tour are 80 or so friendly Kiwis who are having a great time. But Keith Quinn and Dave Loveridge, in their roles as tour leaders, have been putting the travelers to the test. As we sit around chattering or motor along we ask the supporters with their deep and abiding knowledge of All Black history to come up with an All Black team which might, in a funny way, confirm our country’s strong links back to England.
In other weeks I will publish here the 'All Black's Scottish' team and the 'All Blacks Welsh XV' all chosen from surnames which refer to those places.
With regard to the 'English All Blacks' we did insists on a selection criterion; The most common All Black surname is Wilson, right? The most common English surnames in their society are Smith and Taylor - and Jeremy Thrush's surname sounds English! So we have chosen our 'Pommy' All Blacks team thus;
Backs: Ben Smith, Bruce Smith, Conrad Smith, George Smith, JB 'Johnny' Smith, Wayne Smith, Aaron Smith (A complete 'Smith's' backline.)
Forwards; Glenn Taylor, A.J 'Ranji' Wilson, Murray Wills, Alan Smith, Jeremy Thrush, Hec Wilson, Norm Wilson and Brett Wilson
A good NZ team I hope you'll agree - perhaps you have other 'English' All Blacks to send to firstname.lastname@example.org for us to consider.
Wales 13 NZ 8 in Cardiff; Their first win over the All Blacks for 50 years. But as of 2014 they had never beaten NZ again in over 50 more years!
Buller, Wellington, and Scotland
2 internationals for New Zealand 1921
8 internationals for Scotland 1924–29
One of a number of players to have played for more than one country, Aitken came from Buller in New Zealand’s South Island. He made his ﬁrst-class debut as a teenager before the outbreak of World War I and resumed his career after the war.
Aitken’s debut for New Zealand in 1921 was in the ﬁrst test against South Africa – the ﬁrst game between the two countries.
Two years later Aitken, having been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, was in England studying at Oxford University. After becoming an Oxford rugby blue he won his ﬁrst cap for Scotland in 1924. (He had Scottish parents.)
George Aitken was a centre of considerable speed and talent. He is perhaps best remembered in the rugby world as part of a very fast and dangerous Oxford University three-quarter line, all of whom joined him in the Scottish international team at various times.
Which former Springbok test rugby captain won a Rugby World Cup winner's medal for Australia in 1999?