All Black great Sid Going dead at 80

Sid Going. Photo: RNZ
Sid Going. Photo: RNZ
Former All Black Sid Going has died at the age of 80.

Going played 86 matches for the All Blacks over a decade-long span in the 1960s and '70s, including 29 tests.

His skill and influence on the game made him generally considered to be one of the finest halfbacks to have played the game.

The news was confirmed on Saturday morning by Northland Rugby, the province Going played for 110 times when it was called North Auckland.

The Going family name is synonymous with Northland and the Mid-Northern club. Brothers Ken and Brian were also members of the team, with 12 of the wider family following in their path in later years. Going's son Milton represented the All Blacks Sevens, while his other son Jared played Super Rugby for the Crusaders.

The Going brothers were also famous for devising the 'triple scissors' backline move, which was used when all three would play in the North Auckland side.

Sid Going leads a charge of ghost-like figures in the All Blacks' game against East Glamorgan at...
Sid Going leads a charge of ghost-like figures in the All Blacks' game against East Glamorgan at Cardiff Arms Park during the 1972-73 tour. Photo: Peter Bush

Standing 170cm tall and weighing 81kg, Going debuted for the All Blacks against the Wallabies at Athletic Park in Wellington, before being part of a the legendary 1967 side that was unbeaten on their tour of the UK and France. A year later he scored two memorable tries against France at Eden Park, capping off a decade of complete All Black dominance over the rest of the rugby world.

At the time of the controversial 1970 tour to South Africa, in which the Māori Going was considered an 'honorary white', his place as All Black halfback had been challenged by Chris Laidlaw.

In a selection debate that rages on to this day, both were excellent players but offered different skill sets - Going was seen as a far more instinctive player while Laidlaw was the educated, safer option.

By then known as 'Super Sid', Going played in 14 matches on the tour, including the first and fourth tests in a bitter series defeat to the Springboks. The next season he started all four tests in the iconic British Lions series, before again touring South Africa in 1976.

During the 1972 tour to the UK and Ireland, Going featured in several iconic All Black photos, most notably of the team running out under heavy guard during a match against Ulster in Belfast.

He marked his last series with the All Blacks in 1977 with a famous try against the Lions at Athletic Park, before retiring from international rugby at the age of 34.

A lifelong farmer, Going and his family were also deeply involved in the Church Of The Latter Day Saints, he became a bishop and was the president of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple. At the 2020 Halberg Awards, Going was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.