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10 - A Celebration of Great All Black First Five Eights
Knight, Lindsay

From Billy Stead through to Daniel Carter, the All Blacks have been served by some superb players in the first five-eights position. Some such as Stead, Mark Nicholls, Grant Fox and Andrew Mehrtens have touched genuine greatness, others like Carlos Spencer have been close behind them, and others like Nicky Allen were cut down when on the verge of fame. With Daniel Carter showing every sign of being the greatest of them all, it is appropriate that there should be a celebration of the position and role played by the men who have 10 (or 6 as it used to be until the mid-60s) on their backs. Arguably first five is the most glamorous position in New Zealand - if not the most crucial, it is the most pivotal. First five eights hasn't always been a position within the All Blacks which has been occulied by men with unqualified greatness, though. Frequently it has been the hottest of seats with players tossed aside after only a handful of appearances. There have been times when it has caused bitter division, notably on the All Blacks 1953-54 tour of Britain and France when one faction favoured the veteran Laurie Haig and another almost equally the promising youngster Guy Bowers. This book examines all these issues and details how in rugby's evolution the position has changed and become more specialised. It also examines, with some of the expert players, the various skill sets which are now increasingly required...

Second hand Hardback