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Hero image for Men of the Silver Fern - Power, Politics and Professionalism (1978 - 1992)

Men of the Silver Fern - Power, Politics and Professionalism (1978 - 1992)

Television (Full Length Episode) – 1993

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
They devised that fast-moving wide-ranging game, with the emphasis on speed, skill, forwards who could run with ball … and really they just blew every opponent off the park.
– Bob Howitt on the 1987 World Cup-winning All Blacks
I think rugby was almost made for New Zealanders. It absolutely epitomises what New Zealanders are all about and the strength of individual and collective New Zealanders.
– All Blacks captain and coach Brian Lochore
The [Muldoon’s National] Government just wasn’t strong enough, or not willing enough, to do what Norman Kirk and the Labour Government had done eight years previously. Rugby hadn’t changed, the attitude hadn’t changed. The rugby administrators are elected to promote rugby, to do the best for rugby as they see it, and they saw the promotion of rugby through a South African team coming to New Zealand.
– Ron Palenski
Was the tour going to be good for my country, for New Zealand? Again there was no way that I could see that tour as being good for New Zealand.
– All Blacks captain Graham Mourie on the 1981 tour
All my life I had written rugby with a capital ‘R’, always, whether I was long-handing or on typewriter: always the capital ‘R’. Once the Cavaliers took shape I dropped into lower case … well I never wrote with a capital ‘R’ again.
– TP McLean on the disappointment of the rebel Cavaliers tour
It was not long before the controversy over sporting contacts with South Africa would flare up yet again, and things would occur in New Zealand the likes of which had never been seen before.
– From the narration