Purvis thank­ful for fa­ther’s cap

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

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.

GE­ORGINA HUD­SON

Ben Purvis re­ceives a re­place­ment hat af­ter his late All Black fa­ther Neil Purvis’ was de­stroyed in a fire.

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