Hold the Phone! Recognition at last from the IRB for our 'Great One' - Sir Colin Meads

11 August 2014

Yes it really is going to happen! For those of us over the years who have wondered at an apparent oversight - or even a grave injustice (you can take your pick) it seems that an amalgamation between two World Rugby Halls of Fame is going to be very good news for the great New Zealand All Black Sir Colin Meads.

From 1997 a privately owned body, headquartered in New Zealand, which called itself the International Rugby Hall of Fame, had held functions every couple of years and successfully 'inducted' several dozen of the world's top international players into their IRHOF.  They were great parties I must say - I attended some of them.

Included in the opening 'First XV' party held in London was none other than Colin Meads.

Then as the years rolled into the new Millennium, watching from the sidelines it seems the International Rugby Board liked the idea too of having a Hall of Fame. In 2006 the IRB therefore began their own Hall and gradually they phased out the IRHOF. How that happened is a sidebar here and probably not worth going into. Suffice to say the two bodies did not admire each other for a long time.

But as the years rolled by and over 100 men, famous teams, referees, administrators and even some media were inducted ot the IRB's Hall of Fame there seemed to have been a glaring oversight. The great Meads was always overlooked.

Forget that he had been voted by the New Zealand public as their 'Player of the Century' in 1999, and that he was a Commander of the British Empire in New Zealand, and then Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II - there was never a place for him in the IRB Hall of Fame.

There was still no place even when eight other New Zealanders were voted in ahead of him!

And no disrepect to Alfred St George Hamersley, or Vladimir Ilyushin, or the Tsimba brothers, Richard and Kennedy - or Ian Campbell the father of Chilean rugby - surely our 'Pinetree' deserved a place. Have you heard of the other people and theri contribution?

Well, forget all of the aforementioned - now in 2014-15 it is going to change. Following a protracted series of meetings between the IRB and the IRHOF the two Halls will merge. And all those previously inducted into the IRHOF will now go into the IRB Hall.

And quite right too.

Putting it simply, as one who has long campaigned for Meads's inclusion in the IRB Hall (while sometimes feeling like a lone voice I might add) all i can say is -'BOUT BLOODY TIME TOO!


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