League greats turn up for lunch
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.