League greats turn up for lunch

Central Leader - - SPORT -

The Mad Butcher Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers Com­mu­nity Trust lunch on June 20 – billed as A Knight with two War­riors and a Tiger – is shap­ing as the big­gest league lunch yet.

Ki­wis greats Kurt and Dane Sorensen will re­turn from Aus­tralia with Gary Free­man, and Ki­wis coach Stephen Kear­ney, and skip­per Si­mon Man­ner­ing will also at­tend.

The lunch will dou­ble as the 39th an­niver­sary of the 1975 Air New Zealand In­ter­na­tional Se­ries game, played against France at the Show­grounds Oval in Christchurch, when the two young Sorensen boys from the Mt Welling­ton War­riors, made their Ki­wis de­buts.

Join­ing the cel­e­bra­tion to re­live that day are for­mer team-mates from that game, John Whit­taker from the Cook Is­lands, Phil Or­chard from Ro­torua, Auck­lan­ders John O’Sul­li­van, De­nis Wil­liams, Tommy Con­roy, Mur­ray Eade and cap­tain Kenny Ster­ling, from up north Don Munro and Lind­say Proc­tor, from Welling­ton War­ren Caldicott, and from the South Is­land John Green­grass, Butch Coll and Ray Baxendale.

When Cronulla re­cruited Dane, his younger brother Kurt soon fol­lowed, mak­ing the pair pi­o­neers of Ki­wis in Aussie league.

‘‘It was des­tiny for my brother and I to play league in Syd­ney – we would have gone there for noth­ing,’’ Dane said.

Both Sorensens were as tough as teak and Dane had a rep­u­ta­tion as an un­com­pro­mis­ing prop, while Kurt was also never known to take a back­ward step.

Dane is also fa­mous for his no non­sense ap­proach off the field.

The event is open to the pub­lic. It’s at the Eller­slie Events Cen­tre from noon and the $100 ticket price cov­ers lunch drinks, a two-course meal and hear­ing from three greats of New Zealand rugby league.

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