This final edition of the 1992 celebration of New Zealand Rugby runs from grand slam success to the cusp of the professional era. But in-between, rugby and politics combusted. When the Springboks, representing apartheid South Africa, toured NZ in 1981, barbed wire, flour bombs and riot police were match fixtures. Kiwis were either for or against. The tour’s aftermath and public disillusionment with the sport found relief in 1987, when the All Blacks won the first Rugby World Cup; three undefeated years followed. Three NZRFU centennial tests close the series.
We understand there’re some people in New Zealand behind the scenes who helped organise the tour. Who they are? They’re only names and rumours, and they’re all into history now. But they let down New Zealand rugby if they encouraged players to basically break the rules.– Russ Thomas on the organisers of the 1985 rebel Cavaliers tour