A recent find; this great pic of 1966-70 All Black captain Sir Brian Lochore (With a story behind it)

Brian Lochore battles on in South Africa in 1970.

A recent find; this great pic of 1966-70 All Black captain Sir Brian Lochore (With a story behind it)

25 January 2015

The 1970 tour of South Africa by the All Blacks should have been a great experience for the All Black captain Brian Lochore. For tough reasons it did not turn out that way.

Brian was given a great looking 30-man All Black squad when he left New Zealand for the three month tour of the Republic. But he broke his hand in a tour warm-up game in West Australia on the way over and missed the first five matches in South Africa. Then his star lieutenant Colin Meads broke his arm and struggled thereafter. These disruptions could not have helped.

New Zealanders also say 'home' South African refereeing in the test matches did not help either. The All Blacks tumbled to a 1-3 test series loss. Lochore played all four tests but Meads could only battle through the last two.

I like this picture of Lochore as it shows him in a kind of portrait pose against the glare of a white hot South African rugby afternoon. I have a recall of rugby in those days in South Africa being played on dull brown, rock hard fields. I saw it for myself when as a young reporter, I watched the 1976 All Blacks.

You can see Lochore was playing here while still in the wars, his hand is still being protected from his injury here and there is claret around the mouth and nose. Those were tough times on the rugby field. Rugby union and rugby league players in those days used to say; 'You took it and you gave it - and you never grumbled.'

Remember Colin Meads did not so much 'break his arm' on that tour; more like 'his arm was broken for him' (my quote) from the stomp of a South African forward in a provincial game.

Mind you, the New Zealand people loved both Meads and Lochore so much that they were both later Knighted for their 'Services to Rugby.'

(And quite right too!)

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