Sports Letter: Black mark for myth peddling

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The Independent Online
Sir: Comments about Polynesians in All Black rugby made within the recent article by your correspondent Chris Hewett perpetuate the tiresome myth of a rapacious NZRFU roaming about the Pacific Islands, Samoa in particular looking to recruit strapping great specimens of humanity for the All Blacks, thereby depriving the Pacific Islands sides of their best talent. The only non-New Zealand-born recent All Black is Joeli Vidiri, the ex-Fijian international.

Lomu, the Bachop brothers, Bunce, Tuigamala, Brown, Ieremia, Kronfeld, Cullen, Tonuu, Maka are all New Zealand born and raised with their rugger talent developed 100 per cent by the NZRFU. In fact, any raiding is coming from the opposite direction with a popular Samoan side (coached by that All Black great, Brian Williams) now providing an increasingly attractive alternative path to competitive international rugby for many New Zealand born-and-raised and NZRFU-developed laddies for whom in many cases the islands of their ancestors are nothing more than a place for a nice holiday.

Given our miserable international season we could have done with Leaupepe, Leota etc.

Now about those Nigerians, Adebayo, Harriman, Ubogu... Just think how well a team from this African state could have performed at the last couple of World Cups if England hadn't poached them...?

Andrew P Nichols

Christchurch, NZ

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