’87 All Black series: Bernie McCahill

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?

Me, and my business partner own the Auckland Region of Jim’s Mowing. We currently have 68 franchisees that we look after. I also do a bit of investing on the side.

Fondest memories of the 1987 World Cup campaign? 

There were lots. Going to the Susan Devoy function after the 1st game. Playing my 1st game as an All Black vs Argentina. The night out in Akaroa. The haka we received at Te Aute College. Winning the damn thing!

Best and worst roomie in ’87 and why?

I can’t recall who my roomies were!

Why do you think the ’87 team was so successful? 

I think a major factor was the balance of youth and experience. The new guys on the block trained hard to impress. The experienced guys had to respond……..and they did. There was also great leadership – on and off the field.

What was your motivation to play?

I just loved the game. Being an All Black was a bonus, but I would have played no matter what the level.

Best and worst advice you’ve received?

Best advice was “pass for the man, not to the man”. Worst advice was to change provinces!

What advice would you give to the modern day rugby player?

Enjoy yourself, and work hard.

Would you have liked to play in the professional era and why?

Clearly making a good living from playing the game would have been nice. I’m sure I would have thrived on the disciplines of getting better.

What’s your biggest dislike in today’s rugby environment?

The concussions that seem to be more prevalent are a concern. Also, I don’t like the fact that club rugby is slipping away.   

What is your proudest achievement outside of rugby?

Becoming a Father to my beautiful daughter is right up there. I’m proud of the family we are developing with my relatively new wife!

Photocredit: Jim’s Mowing


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