Clubs 'bury hatchet' over All Blacks

Mike Brewer
Mike Brewer
New Zealand club rugby's greatest debate has resurfaced - although it appears there is now agreement from both sides.

The Ponsonby Rugby Club is leading the way at present, having the most All Blacks to its name, with 46 to the Otago University club's 45.

Both clubs added to their tallies last week, when Akira Ioane and Dillon Hunt made their debuts against the France XV in Lyon.

Ponsonby club historian Paul Neazor contacted the Otago Daily Times in response to a story reporting Hunt's debut.

Arran Pene
Arran Pene
In the past, various numbers had been put forward as to how many All Blacks each club had, depending on the criteria used.

However, Neazor said the clubs met during this year's British and Irish Lions tour and were in agreement they were now ''on the same page''.

The criteria each used was whether the player had played for the All Blacks while representing either club.

Players to have represented the All Blacks before or after playing for the club were not included in the official count.

The meeting was reported in the University club's magazine Blooz Nooz, which it asked both sides ''to bury the hatchet and join in a new war cry, 'the two best clubs in the country'.''

David Kirk
David Kirk
Neazor said several names of All Blacks who were prominent Ponsonby personalities - although they did not fit the official criteria - were originally included on its honours board.

Those included the likes of Noel Bowden, who had been president of the Old Boys Association

It also had various players - although not all players - who played for the club before and after their All Black days.

That had since been rectified on the board in the club's main lounge, with the club now boasting 46 All Blacks.

It now also has an ''other All Blacks'' category, which includes an additional 19 who played for the club but not during their All Black careers.

Using that criteria, Ponsonby would have 65, compared with University's 69.

In that regard it was important to note University was a club for current students only throughout most of its history.

Many of its notable players went on to win selection after finishing their studies and moving to other clubs.

Among those were Taine Randell, Josh Kronfeld, Jamie Joseph and Warwick Taylor.

Likewise, Ponsonby both gained and lost players in the early 20th century, at a time when geographical boundaries dictated which club a player had to turn out for.

Another set of criteria had suggested players should be recognised for the clubs they played for when first selected for the All Blacks.

Neazor believed that first came from the establishment of the All Blacks past and present website.

He was unsure why that was used, although he had not seen it used elsewhere.


University (Dunedin)

Colin Gilray, Donald Macpherson, Jock Cuthill, Phillipe Cabot, Frank Ward, Billy Fea, Robert Sinclair, Arnold Perry, Edward Stewart, Abe Munro, Donald Dickson, Donald Stevenson, Dave Lindsay, Nick Bradanovich, Tubby Holden, Monty McClymont, Ron Bush, Jim Watt, Colin Gillies, Trevor Berghan, Ian Botting, Graham Moore, Des Oliver, Mark Irwin, Howard Levien, Tuppy Diack, Earle Kirton, Graham Sims, Terry Morrison, Paul Sapsford, Marc Ellis, Pita Alatini, Simon Maling, James Ryan, Adam Thomson, Ron Elvidge, Tony Davies, Keith Nelson, Chris Laidlaw, David Kirk,Mike Brewer, John Timu, Arran Pene, Anton Oliver, Dillon Hunt.

Ponsonby (Auckland)

Dave Gallaher, Bolla Francis, Joe O’Leary, Dougie McGregor, George Sellars, Fred Lucas, Len Righton, Herman Mattson, Lew Hook, Rube McWilliams, Frank Solomon, Dave Solomon, Bill Carson, Bob Scott, Eric Boggs, Percy Tetzlaff, Johnny Simpson, Neville Black, Malcolm Dick, Ron Rangi, Bryan Williams, Peter Whiting, Andy Haden, John Mills, Mark Brooke­Cowden, Joe Stanley, Matthew Ridge, Craig Innes, Vaaiga Tuigamala, Olo Brown, Carlos Spencer, Ofisa Tonuu, Jeremy Stanley, Ali Williams, Ben Atiga, Sam Tuitupou, Benson Stanley, Patrick Tuipulotu, Rieko Ioane, Morrie Wood, George Nicholson, Bill Cunningham, George Gillett, Bert Palmer, Troy Flavell, Akira Ioane.


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