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.
They did it in style too; beating Canada 38-10 to win a Youth Olympic Gold medal in Nanjing China. The victory saw an Olympic rugby gold medal presented for the first time in 90 years!
An Irishman and one of rugby’s best performed referees, in charge of 23 internationals from 1960 to 1971. Kelleher had a very successful career as a referee, but he is largely remembered for being the man who sent Colin Meads off at Murrayfield during the Scotland v New Zealand match in 1967.
Kelleher ruled that Meads’s lunging kick at a loose bouncing ball near the Scottish flyhalf, David Chisholm, was dangerous and, having previously issued a warning in the vigorous encounter, he dismissed Meads. As the New Zealander was arguably the world’s most famous player at the time, the sending-off created a storm.
Ironically, Meads and Kelleher became friends and for many years exchanged Christmas cards. Kelleher was flown to New Zealand in 1988 to appear on the TV show ‘This is Your Life – Colin Meads.’
Although New Zealanders poured scorn on Kelleher as a referee, they tended to overlook his exceptional record with the whistle. Kelleher’s first international was Wales v Scotland in 1960, and his last was France v Scotland in 1971.
Piri Weepu played 71 tests for the All Blacks; how many times did he play for the full 80 minutes?