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’ involved in the successful campaign.
Tell us a little about what you’re up to these days?
I am involved in the same business as I was in 1987, albeit now as a shareholder and am embracing new technology. The company is now called Techfront NZ, we’re mainly in sport with signage rights and LED infrastructure; I am CEO. I’m also an All Blacks selector (since 2012) so have the privilege of being part of the team I am most passionate about.
Fondest memories of the 1987 World Cup campaign?
Winning was the obvious highlight but being on tour in our own back yard was special.
Best and worst roomie in ’87 and why?
My memory isn’t good enough to remember who I roomed with but I think the best roomies were the tidy ones. Richard Loe was interesting – being a farmer he woke early and made sure you were awake as well before making a cup of tea.
Why do you think the ’87 team was so successful?
I think the seeds of success were sown from the adversity of the ’86 season. A lot of players were exposed to Test rugby in ’86 mainly due to some players serving a ban for taking part in the Cavaliers Tour (including me). We lost a series at home to Australia in ’86 and that hurt. In 1987 the team was well selected, a good blend of experienced players and some of the new ones from the ‘Baby Blacks’. We were well coached, well lead, very fit, had a good game plan, worked hard, and were very driven in terms of being desperate to win.
What was your motivation to play?
Love of the game, passion for the jersey, mates in a team playing for one another, striving to be the best I could be and driven to be the best in the world.
Best and worst advice you’ve received?
I don’t view advice as best and worst as all advice is well intended, I just filtered the critical stuff that would work for me.
What advice would you give to the modern day rugby player?
Talent only gets you so far, hard work gets you to the next level. Be driven, be grateful, be patient, show respect and treat people properly.
Would you have liked to play in the professional era and why?
Yes, simply to be able to indulge your passion and get financial reward for it would be cool. I don’t regret not having that opportunity though, we had a lot of fun in the amateur era and didn’t know any different.
What’s your biggest dislike in today’s rugby environment?
Aspects of the media in terms of ignorance from talk back radio and social media.
What is your proudest achievement outside of rugby?
Easy – family.
Quick fire round: 5 things you didn’t know about Grant Fox
Photo credit: All Blacks Open Forum