These short profiles of then-current All Blacks were made for TV3 as part of a pre-Rugby World Cup 2007 series. Each involves an interview with the player in a formative context for them, eg. their hometown, club ground, old school or favourite surf beach. The interviewer is James Gemmell, and interviewees included tighthead prop Carl Hayman, flanker Jerry Collins, hooker Anton Oliver and fullback Mils Muliaina. The players are relaxed and surprisingly candid, as Oliver says when reflecting on the burden of captaincy: “I was sh*tting myself for a while.”
This 2007 pre-World Cup profile interviews All Black hooker Anton Oliver. Oliver chats candidly from his home above a Dunedin art gallery about his long tenure in the black jersey: the 1999 RWC “mugging” by France, captaincy, and his desire not to be seen as a “rugby head”. Oliver — much-respected as a master of the dark arts of scrummaging — also had a reputation as the thinking man’s All Black, an image reinforced when he left rugby the year after this interview to study for an Msc at Oxford University in “bio-domestic conservation management”!
This 2007 pre-World Cup interview travels to Opunake, the hometown of All Black Carl Hayman. Hayman talks candidly about joining his school 1st XV (King's High) and being inspired by the early 90s “golden era” of Otago rugby; of the euphoria of finally scoring a try for the All Blacks; attending his first ABs press conference in true Otago style (wearing jandals and a woollen jersey); and being a large surfer. Hayman, then-widely adjudged the world’s premier tighthead prop, would later controversially remove himself from All Black contention by playing in Europe.
In this interview before the 2007 Rugby World Cup, All Black flanker Jerry Collins visits Trust Porirua Park, where he started playing rugby at the age of 11 for Norths RFC (other ex members include Hika Reid, and Christian Cullen). Collins, who was widely known as a hard-hitting and physical player, discusses how "getting smashed" was part of the game from the beginning: "I became good at it. Then I became good at doing it to other people”. He also reveals what he thinks about during the national anthem and haka. Collins and his partner Alana Madill died in a car crash in June 2015.
This pre-Rugby World Cup 2007 interview follows All Black fullback Mils Muliaina as he revisits the grounds of his alma mater, Southland Boys High in Invercargill (Mils is one of 21 All Blacks from Southland Boys). He talks about his family’s migration from Samoa to Invercargill, and heads south to Bluff to score some oysters with the film crew. Muliaina also talks about finding out via the six o’clock news that he was in the All Blacks, recalls the game he remembers most fondly, and discusses his fondness for rolling his rrrs.