To mark the 30-year anniversary of New Zealand winning the 1987 inaugural Rugby World Cup, Beyond the Mark will share memories from some of the All Black players’ and administrators’ over the coming weeks.
Tell us a little about what you’re up to these days?
At the end of June, Pam and I transferred our share of the farming operation over to my son and daughter and their spouses. We still live on the farm in a renovated brick house which is very comfortable. Nothing has changed for me. I am still working on the farm doing things I can do and am really enjoying it.
Fondest memories of the 1987 World Cup campaign?
My fondest memories of the 1987 World Cup campaign was how the NZ’ers embraced the cup. I will never forget the numbers of people at the Poenamu Hotel to wish us well as we got on the bus – I knew with that support we couldn’t get beaten.
Best and worst roomie in ’87 and why?
I didn’t have a best and worst “roomie” as I always had a room on my own.
Why do you think the ’87 team was so successful?
Our team was so successful because they were the fittest team in the tournament and that was because of the self motivation of each player doing their own preparation. I believe self motivation is the best motivation, by far. To be fitter than any opponent.
What advice would you give to the modern day rugby player?
My advice to modern day players would be the 3 Ps – Practice – Preparation – Performance, and do something outside of rugby that could be useful for you in the future, or, do something you enjoy for yourself.
Would you have liked to play in the professional era and why?
I am happy with my amateur career . I guess I could have enjoyed it, but my life would have been very different as it would have been difficult to have retained a farming career.
What’s your biggest dislike in today’s rugby environment?
My biggest dislike in today’s rugby environment is the scrums. Every time the ref calls for a scrum it’s like having ‘smoko’ they all amble over to the mark, usually one of the prop goes down, so they all wait, the water comes on, they have a drink and a spell – the clock ticks on – scrum collapses and we reset and then there is an obscure penalty. Rolling maul is very close behind the scrum.
Photo credit: Radio Sport