When they reigned: Where are they now?

The main players of the successful 1991 team have ended up all over the world. Many, however, have stayed heavily involved in the game.

Greg Cooper

Scored 279 points for Otago that season, which is still an Otago record. Played for the All Blacks the next year, but only briefly, and then retired. Came back into professional rugby as a player for a short stint just when it kicked off. Became a coach and coached the Highlanders from 2004-07. Now coaching in France with Stade Francais.

John Timu

Timu continued to be a class player for Otago and moved to fullback in the next few years. Switched to rugby league with stints in Australia and the United Kingdom. Now living in Wanaka and working as a builder.

Paul Cooke

Knew his way to the tryline and all up played 107 times for Otago, scoring 72 tries in the process. Now in Hawke’s Bay, working as a freezing worker.

Marc Ellis

First year out of Wellington College and Ellis made a big impact. Played on the wing when Timu went to the World Cup. Played 66 games for Otago before heading to rugby league. Now a businessman in Auckland.

Arthur Stone

Had been round the traps before finding a home in Dunedin from 1987. Was a good organiser for the side and looked to do the unorthodox. Ended up playing 97 games for Otago. Runs a building business in Dunedin.

Steve Cottrell
Second five-eighth

Came through the ranks as a university student. Had a touch of class about him and a good defender. Left after this season. Then went to Cambridge University and has worked in law ever since, including being the general counsel for New Zealand Rugby.

John Haggart
First five-eighth

Retired after the 1991 season, having first played for Otago in 1983. A dependable left foot and courage in defence were his trademarks. Has coached overseas and worked with the Highlanders and Otago. Is now involved with the Canterbury union.

Stu Forster

The bear, as they called him, was a key player for Otago. Continued to play for Otago until 1998. Last sighted in Wellington. One wonders if he could cut it these days, such was his small stature.

Arran Pene
No 8

The big bashing No 8  ran hard and always made the advantage line. Part of a dynamic loose forward trio. Went to Japan with Jamie Joseph. Now owns the Speight’s Ale House in Hamilton.

Brent Pope

Pope played mostly on the flank in 1991 but had been at No8 for Otago for previous seasons. Missed the 1992 season but came back briefly to play one game in 1993. Ended up in Ireland, where he became a commentator and author. Wrote an award-winning autobiography in 2013 which was shortlisted for sports book of the year in the United Kingdom.

Jamie Joseph

A rugged player who worked his way into the side and into the All Blacks the following year. Left for Japan in 1995 and we all know what happened after that.

Paul Henderson

Ventured up from Southland to get some exposure and it certainly worked. Continued to play for a good few years and then returned to Southland. Has done some coaching offshore and involved in property development while still in Invercargill.

Mike Brewer

Brewer should, by rights, have been in the United Kingdom for the World Cup but a saga over a foot injury meant he was left behind. Gave Otago the lift it needed when he came back for the final two games. Went to Canterbury then headed overseas for a lengthy period coaching, before heading home to Pukekohe. His son Harrison is in the Manawatu team.

Gordon Macpherson

Came down from Poverty Bay and never looked back, playing 137 games for Otago from 1985-93. Was in the United States, moved to Scotland but was last year named as the coach of the Atlanta Renegades in the US.

Richard Knight

Ended up playing 170 games for Otago and 1991 was his last full season. A dependable player who never shirked the hard work and never appeared to get injured. Son Adam is in the current Otago set-up. Still lives in Milton and works at a trucking firm.

Steve Cumberland

A solid tighthead prop who faced some serious examinations having to keep up the Otago scrum. Got into coaching and has spent some lengthy spells in Japan, where he is now.

Steve Hotton

Played every game in the 1991 season and kept playing for another couple of years and then went offshore. Ended up in Kurow where, after running a cafe, he has now moved into running a butchery.

David Latta

Crazy, as he was known, was all action. Extremely fit and skilful, he took over the captaincy from Brewer and led Otago to some memorable victories and some tearful losses. Still lives in Balclutha and works as a builder.

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