GLEN OS­BORNE: ALL BLACK

Kapi-Mana News - - PAST TIMES -

‘‘We had a mock exam some­time in the first few weeks and I didn’t do that well, but I had a sergeant that looked af­ter me, who said ‘You need to do this’, and other re­cruits were tu­tor­ing me.’’

He said he was rapt ev­ery­one in the wing grad­u­ated, the first time it had hap­pened in more than a decade.

In a wel­come and un­ex­pected twist for Os­borne, Wing 298 was named for John Hart, one of his All Black coaches, who was present at Thurs­day’s packed-out cer­e­mony.

‘‘Hav­ing Harty there as a men­tor meant a lot. It was funny – I found out through friends of friends that he was go­ing to be our pa­tron, and I was chuffed. He’s a won­der­ful per­son.’’

Hart said Os­borne was now part of one New Zealand’s most im­por­tant teams. It was an hon­our to be asked to be pa­tron and to speak to the 60 re­cruits dur­ing their 16-week course.

‘‘The mem­bers of Wing 298 have made new friends and ex­pe­ri­ences that will stay with them for life,’’ he said. ‘‘Ev­ery­thing changes for them from today [grad­u­a­tion] with public scru­tiny in ev­ery­thing they do, but they will re­mem­ber the cul­ture and val­ues the New Zealand Po­lice carry.’’

Af­ter a short break, Os­borne will be­gin life as a con­sta­ble in his home­town of Whanganui. He said he ex­pected no favours be­cause of his All Black back­ground, and was keen to knuckle down into front­line po­lice work.

‘‘It’s cool to be go­ing home – I just feel it’s the next part of my jour­ney.’’

He hoped to work with young peo­ple in his new ca­reer. Glen Os­borne played 29 times for the All Blacks, be­tween 1995 and 1999, 19 of them tests.

Play­ing as a full­back or a wing, his 11 test tries was a good re­turn. His most mem­o­rable matches were the 1995 World Cup fi­nal and tak­ing part in the first ever series win in South Africa a year later.

He was un­for­tu­nate to time his as­cen­dancy to the black jer­sey with Tana Umaga, Jonah Lomu, Jeff Wil­son and Chris­tian Cullen - with­out at least two of those play­ers there, you would ex­pect Os­borne would have played many more games.

The rise of Cullen, es­pe­cially, and in­juries saw Os­borne rel­e­gated to the bench in 1997.

A Whanganui prod­uct who moved to North Har­bour, he played the first four years of the Su­per Rugby com­pe­ti­tion for the Chiefs. He also played over­seas in Ja­pan and France.

With his nat­u­ral hu­mour and out­go­ing per­son­al­ity, Os­borne was a pop­u­lar per­son­al­ity off the field.

For­mer All Glen Os­borne grad­u­ated po­lice col­lege last week.

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