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And there's a many a Kiwi who has rung him on this day in the years since - after he grew to be one of our greatest All Blacks.
After an unauthorised tour to South Africa in 1986 by senior All Blacks (the ‘Cavaliers’), players who toured were banned for two test matches. The New Zealand selectors therefore had to cast further afield for a team to play a test against France in Christchurch and in a following game against Australia at Wellington. They opted in choosing from younger or second-string players who were active around New Zealand.
The relative youth and inexperience of the new team soon earned it the affectionate nickname ‘Baby All Blacks’. The team’s popularity was ensured when it beat France, 18–9 and lost narrowly, 12–13, to Australia.
The Baby Blacks included a number of players who were to become seasoned All Blacks: David Kirk was their captain, while Joe Stanley, Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, Frano Botica, Terry Wright, Mike Brewer and Andy Earl all represented New Zealand for years.
Who was the first Welshman to captain the British and Irish Lions on tour?