Purvis thankful for father’s cap
After one All Blacks cap was buried with his father and another was lost when the family home burnt down, Ben Purvis thought he would never see another.
So he was humbled when presented with cap number 746, that of his father, former All Black wing Neil Purvis, at the annual Neil Purvis memorial match at Tarras on Saturday.
As captain of the Upper Clutha side playing Arrowtown, Ben Purvis received the replacement cap from family friend Paul Allison who approached the New Zealand Rugby Union with the request. It was presented by his father’s friend and former All Black Wayne Graham.
Ben Purvis said it was good of the rugby union to replace the cap and thanked Allison for his involvement.
‘‘If it was going to be presented, it was the ideal time to do it.
‘‘We didn’t think we would see another one.’’
Neil Purvis’ previous cap was destroyed along with other All Blacks memorabilia in a fire at the family’s Cluden Station homestead last year.
The cap would be safely stored with the family, Ben Purvis said.
He was disappointed Upper Clutha didn’t get the win, falling to Arrowtown 32-26.
Neil Purvis died aged 55 in 2008 while working the family farm near Tarras.
He played 14 matches for the All Blacks in 1976 including a test against Ireland and against the Lions for Wairarapa-Bush in 1971. He played 55 games for Otago in the 1970s.
Meanwhile, Maniototo successfully defended the White Horse Cup in a 16-8 win over ClydeEarnscleugh.
Maniototo coach Andrew Hore said it was a ‘‘tough affair’’ and gave credit to the opposition.
Hore singled out fullback Matt Holmes and midfielder Angus Gibb as standouts along with Nick Hayes and Tim O’Neil in the forwards.
Clyde-Earnscleugh coach Cory Crosbie said Maniototo’s ‘‘clever kicking’’ won the match for them.
Too many errors meant his side never led and only scored late in the game.
Maniototo defends the White Horse Cup again in two weeks time against Alexandra.
In other matches, Cromwell beat Matakanui Combined 48-31 and Wakatipu beat Alexandra 50-13.
Ben Purvis receives a replacement hat after his late All Black father Neil Purvis’ was destroyed in a fire.