Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
21 January 2015
On hearing the news that Gareth Anscombe, the former New Zealand Under-20 international, had been included in the first Welsh training squad in the 2015 Rugby World Cup year, got me thinking. While it's sad that New Zealand has lost yet another player to a country off shore it is something we have all had to live with.
The thing is, Anscombe has gone 'first' to Wales to try for a start to his international career. Most of the other top All Blacks who have had time in Wales made the transfer towards the end of their playing days. To cash in - I think the term is!
I only had to flick around a few websites for a few moments - and from my own memory bank - to come up with a more than useful All Black team of relatively recent years who have all had 'reasonably extensive' experience of playing professional club rugby in Wales; (I have put Gareth Anscombe's name in an imaginary 'Welsh-New Zealand team here, as I feel sure the young man, given time, would have come through and had time with the All Blacks.)
Actually when you look at this list he sits in good company...but now he is gone forever. A big rugby decision has been taken by him.
So how's this for a good All Black's 'Welsh' team; Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues), Jonah Lomu (Cardiff Blues), Casey Laulala (Cardiff Blues), Regan King (Llanelli Scarlets), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Shane Howarth (Cardiff), Justin Marshall (Ospreys); Xavier Rush (Cardiff Blues), Filo Tiatia (Ospreys), Simon Maling (Llanelli Scarlets), Jarrad Hoeata (Cardiff Blues), Marty Holah (Ospreys), Campbell Johnstone (Ospreys), Tom Willis (Newport Gwent Dragons) and Dave Hewett (Llanelli Scarlets)
On the reserves bench would be players of real quality like; Ofisa Tonu'u (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jerry Collins (Ospreys) and Aled de Malmanche (Cardiff Blues).
Of the above only Hewett had minimal time with a Welsh club team; there are others of true original New Zealand extraction and who were internationals (after playing for Wales) who could have been considered too; Like Hemi Taylor (A Maori who captained Wales in the 1990s), Dale McIntosh (another NZ born Maori who had 454 games for Pontypridd and was capped by the Welsh too); while Brett Sinkinson, Sonny Parker and Matt Cardy were also all capped after good provincial careers in New Zealand.
The coaching staff of this imaginary team could of course bring together the 'old firm' of Graham Henry and Steve Hansen. And Warren Gatland might have a say as well!!
The question is; have I left anyone of significance out of my team?
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Television New Zealand announced that all four tests of the 1976 All Blacks tour of South Africa would be telecast live. This was the first time all tests of an All Blacks event in South Africa were to be shown on TV.
Cambridge University, Edinburgh University and Scotland
22 internationals for Scotland 1900–08
1 international for Great Britain 1904
One of the first men in rugby to gain a reputation for being a tough, hard-nosed footballer, D.R. Bedell-Sivright (spelled Bedell-Sievewright by some historians) was a vigorous forward (and a Scottish heavyweight boxing champion), perhaps a forerunner of the tough men of later generations.
There were some who disapproved of Bedell-Sivright’s uncompromising methods, considering them ‘ungentlemanly’. Nevertheless, he built an excellent record in the Scottish forward pack.
He was chosen as captain of the Great Britain team that toured Australia and New Zealand in 1904. Winning that position ahead of an Englishman was perhaps the greatest tribute paid to ‘Darkie’, as the team was chosen by the (English) Rugby Football Union.
Bedell-Sivright, whose brother John also played for Scotland, was for a time a stock-rearer in Australia. He died of blood poisoning at Gallipoli during World War I.
Why was the France v Ireland match of 1913 played in the morning in Cork?