Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 02:24 AM


Although his tally of 22 Tests is relatively modest by modern standards, Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford is regarded as one of the toughest, most uncompromising All Blacks of all time.

These traits were never better exemplified than when he played on with a torn scrotum in a Test against France, but the No.8 enforcer was more accustomed to doling out punishment than receiving it.

In the 1987 World Cup semi-final against Wales at Ballymore, Shelford took exception to his teammate Gary Whetton being pummelled by opposing lock Huw Richards, and meted out his own frighteningly effective form of justice – in the form of a savage right cross.

Adding insult to injury, Richards was the player sent off – after he regained consciousness – while Shelford remained on the field to star in a 49-6 rout.

The North Harbour skipper took over the New Zealand captaincy following the World Cup triumph and led the All Blacks in 14 consecutive undefeated Tests from 1988-90, before being controversially dumped from the national side.

‘Bring Back Buck’ banners have been a feature of New Zealand rugby crowds ever since.

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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