We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.

In a Different League

Television (Full Length) – 1990

Presented by John Kirwan, this film looks at the 1990 decision of Kirwan's young All Black teammate Matthew Ridge to ‘defect’ from rugby, to play professional league for the Manly Sea Eagles. Ridge had been the uncapped understudy to 1989 World Player of the Year John Gallagher. Ironically Gallagher converted to league shortly after Ridge, news that Ridge receives while preparing for his league debut. Ridge went on to captain the Kiwis. His code shift began a trend that transformed union and league in NZ; union turned pro in 1995. Ric (Sports Cafe) Salizzo directs.

Ridgey was an All Black fullback and he was on his way to being one of the best. He had all the skills, but more than that he had the determination to get to the top. Well he got there ... twice. First with us [the All Blacks] and then with those other blokes with the money.
– Presenter John “I wouldn’t go to rugby league for a million dollars” Kirwan

Key Cast & Crew

Profile image for Ric Salizzo

Ric Salizzo

Producer, Director

Profile image for Matthew Ridge

Matthew Ridge


Generic Profile image for Garry Clark

Garry Clark

Sound Mix

Generic Profile image for Neil Newcombe

Neil Newcombe

Sound Mix

Generic Profile image for Troy McLachlan

Troy McLachlan


Generic Profile image for John Kirwan

John Kirwan


See all 13 credits