Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poaching revisited

April 29, 2006

About five months ago I wrote a column about supposed kiwi "poaching" of Pacific Island talent ("Kiwi piracy? More Pommie whingeing? Or latent racism?") that received a bit of reaction.

Here's some more fodder for the debate.

2006 NZ Rugby Almanack

Rugby News and Rugby Planet have both recently reviewed the new edition of the New Zealand 2006 Rugby Almanack, edited by Clive Akers and Geoff Miller.

Rugby Planet says the book, "also deals, briefly, with the accusations that New Zealanders pinch players from the other islands."

The Almanack says:

* Of 1064 All Blacks -
14 have been born in Samoa
8 have been born in Fiji
7 have been born in Tonga

Of these, most have qualified for New Zealand citizenship, certainly most were educated in New Zealand.

The major overseas provider of All Blacks is Australia with 18. In contrast, at least 15 players who have worn the Rose of England have been born in India.

[Akers & Miller: "One could cynically ask what England has done for Indian rugby?"]

It also gives a resumé of what New Zealand has done for island rugby.

15 English national rugby players were born in India? A full starting lineup?? Stephen Jones, Eddie Butler et al need to get back to us when they've thoroughly investigated...


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