Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
14 September 2016
This message below is from John Lea of the Association of New Zealand Rugby Historians and Statisticians; A message to all followers of New Zealand rugby;
I hope wherever you are in the rugby world you might be interested in this phenomenal publication from Clive Akers, the Editor of the Rugby Almanack of New Zealand. I have personally found this new book fascinating and a fantastic reference for many queries and research topics! It is called;
New Zealand Rugby Register : The Players, Referees and Administrators in First-Class Rugby 1870-2015
It is the most extensive career record on players and referees in first-class rugby over the past 145 years.
For the first time, the New Zealand Rugby Register provides an alphabetical list of every provincial representative (men and women) since the game was introduced to New Zealanders in 1870.
820 pages containing approximately 40,000 names including NZ Sevens, NZ Age Grade, and NZ Schools representatives as well as prominent coaches, administrators, and rugby media.
A reference book for provincial union staff, journalists, media, rugby enthusiasts and genealogists.
A 35-year project compiled by Rugby Almanack co-editor Clive Akers.
Available only from NZ Rugby Museum, PO Box 36, Palmerston North 4440. firstname.lastname@example.org
Price: $195.00 including postage within New Zealand.
Review by LINDSAY KNIGHT
In all of New Zealand rugby there has never been a book quite like that which has been produced by long-serving Rugby Almanack co-editor and Rugby Museum chairman, Clive Akers. In his New Zealand Rugby Register Akers has recorded the names and biographical details of every player and referee and some of the administrators and coaches who have been involved from 1870 up until 2015 in New Zealand first-class games. He hasn’t stopped there and has also covered national sevens, age-group and secondary school representatives and prominent members of the media. It all amounts to more than 800 A4 pages, bound in a hard cover, which is a reflection of the staggering amount of research which Akers has devoted over many years to the project. Clearly while it is the most phenomenal reference book this writer has encountered in any sport, let alone rugby, the Register is not bed-time reading and is not going to be a best-seller. That obviously was not Akers’ intention. But it will be of immeasurable benefit to any family proud of a relative’s deeds, historians, statisticians and any media hack who has been assigned the task of compiling an obituary on any old All Black or rugby personality when they have passed away. Because it has inevitably involved mind-boggling research and covers such a comprehensive subject, one cannot vouch for the Register being 100% accurate. And if there have been mistakes or omissions then they would have to be regarded as understandable. But from a reasonably good knowledge of New Zealand rugby at many levels over the past 50 years or more I can find precious few and have found confirmation of one or two claims which have been made to me personally.
I now know that a fellow bowls club member, one Andrew Tait, had a first-class game for Golden Bay-Motueka in 1965 and a couple of media people of recent years, The Dominion-Post’s Toby Robson and Sky Television’s Grant Nisbett, appeared briefly in first-class rugby. Robson twice played for a Wellington XV in 2002 and Nisbett for a Wellington colts side against Horowhenua in a Queen’s Birthday match in 1969 when on the same day the A team played Manawatu and the Bs played Marlborough. The historically and politically minded will be equally fascinated to learn two Prime Ministers played first-class rugby, Keith Holyoake with Golden-Bay Motueka in the 1920s and before the turn of the 20th century George Forbes, the country’s hapless leader in the 1930s, for Canterbury. Another celebrated politician, from the Richard Seddon era, to have also played representative rugby was William Pember Reeves. You will also find that the famous soldier and former Governor-General, Bernard Freyberg, was a useful player with three games for Horowhenua, that Tem, the father of the entertainer Howard Morrison, played for Waikato and New Zealand Maori and that John Devoy, father of the squash champion Susan, in the 1940s was a midfield back for Wanganui and Hawke’s Bay. Or that the great lawn bowler Peter Belliss, before winning his world titles, was a Wanganui representative forward, continuing a family tradition which started with his grand-dad, Moke, a dynamic All Black wing forward in the early 1920s. Many of us no doubt have been assured, either by the person himself or his relatives, that so and so represented Auckland, Canterbury or Otago. That can be confirmed by the Register. Or it can be disproved for there are many who confuse playing for a province at schoolboy and junior levels with the elite few who were representatives at the approved first-class level.
One might have to be a history or statistical buff to fully enjoy Akers’ monumental work. But it’s an important contribution to the archiving of New Zealand rugby and it’s something for which Akers deserves both gratitude and unqualified congratulations.
Director New Zealand Rugby Museum
+64 6 358 6947 or 027 239 0050
Keith Arnold was a flanker who played in such a fiery manner an Aussie commentator Bill Cerutti called him a 'Killer' in 1947. The name stuck!
Melrose, Stewart’s-Melville and Scotland
34 internationals for Scotland 1986–91
3 internationals for British Isles 1989
Stewart’s Melville and Scotland
27 internationals for Scotland 1981–85
1 international for British Isles 1983
Twins from a family of four rugby-playing brothers from Edinburgh, Jim and Finlay Calder held a unique place in world rugby: between them they virtually occupied one position in the Scottish team for 10 seasons.
Jim Calder was first into the Scottish team, playing as flanker against France in 1981. From then until 1985 he was a first choice in 27 Scottish test sides, missing only one international right through until the disastrous Scottish season of 1984–85. He scored the vital try against France that clinched the Grand Slam win for Scotland in 1983–84.
Finlay Calder took over his brother’s position as flanker in the Scottish team. His internationals were played consecutively as well, apart from missing one test, because of injury, in 1988 and another in 1989. He announced his retirement after the Scottish tour of New Zealand in 1990 and missed the 1990–91 Five Nations series, but he was then lured out of retirement in time to be back in the Scottish team for the World Cup of 1991.
At one point the Calder brothers had played on the side of the scrum in 55 of the 59 internationals Scotland played from 1981–90. Both had taken part in a Scottish Grand Slam: Jim in 1984 and Finlay in 1990.
Finlay Calder was a Scottish captain in 1988–89 and a British Isles skipper as well. In 1989 he led the Lions to Australia in his usual rollicking good- humoured way – off the field, that is. On the field he was grim and vigorous. The 2–1 test series win was the first the Lions had had on tour for 16 years.
Although the Calder twins did not actually play a test match together they, along with their brother John, were all together in the Scotland party which toured Australia in 1982. The third brother John Calder, also a loose forward, was equal top try-scorer on that tour. He was never capped in a full international match.
In 1990 Finlay Calder was awarded the OBE for his services to Scottish and British rugby.
Who was the first All Black captain to be red or yellow carded in a test match?