Par­sons should have su­per rugby con­tract

CHB Mail - - Gardening -

By SHANE HURNDELL

For­mer All Blacks lock Rob­bie Stuart be­lieves Mag­pie Tom Par­sons has done enough to earn a Su­per Rugby con­tract.

“What else does Tom have to do to get more recog­ni­tion?” Stuart asked.

“If one or two of the con­tracted locks fell over Tom would have to get the call. He's a real ma­ture player who ab­so­lutely stood out for the Cen­tral club down here when they were strug­gling and then the Magpies this sea­son. He is a big unit with mo­bil­ity,” Stuart said.

A Hawke's Bay Magpies se­lec­tor-coach dur­ing the 1984 and ‘85 sea­sons, Stuart is con­fi­dent the Magpies will beat Otago in their Mitre 10 Cup Cham­pi­onship semi­fi­nal in Dunedin on Satur­day night.

“They are im­prov­ing all the time and have got good depth. When they have had one or two in­juries they have been able to re­cover,” he said.

“The sec­ond stringers are do­ing the busi­ness. When they have got the op­por­tu­nity they have re­sponded.

“I'm re­ally ex­cited for that game. While the Magpies have got to step up they have al­ready done the job down there and that will give them con­fi­dence,” he said re­fer­ring to their round two 31-25 vic­tory in Au­gust.

Stuart, 70, who played six games for the All Blacks dur­ing the 1977 tour of France, will be in­ducted into the Cen­tral Hawke's Bay Sports Hall of Fame at the CHB Sports Awards func­tion at Waipuku­rau's AW Par­sons Cen­tre on Novem­ber 2.

“It was tremen­dous when I got the news. It was one of those hap­pen­ings in life you get a real buzz from,” Stuart said.

A fa­ther of two and grand­fa­ther of three who works as a live­stock agent for Car­rfields Lim­ited, Stuart said he was look­ing for­ward to mix­ing with many of CHB's ta­lented young sports­peo­ple at the func­tion.

He joins fel­low for­mer All Black Norm He­witt (2014), eques­trian leg­end Tiny White (2015), 1972 Olympic Games ath­lete Tony Pol­hill (2016) and for­mer Black Fern and cur­rent Hawke's Bay Tui Emma Jensen (2017) as re­cent in­ductees.

A for­mer Waipuku­rau HSOB and Napier Tech­ni­cal club player, Stuart played 120 first class games for the Magpies from 1967 to 1980.

Al­though mostly a lock, Stuart was also a handy prop and this ver­sa­til­ity led to his one test cap on the 1977 tour.

To cover lock and prop he was named on the re­serve bench for the first test and went on as a re­place­ment when prop Gary Knight was in­jured.

He also cap­tained the All Blacks in two games on that tour.

A Napier Boys' High School old boy, Stuart made his Magpies de­but as a 19 year old in 1967. That sea­son he was named as one of the five promis­ing play­ers of the sea­son by the Rugby Al­manack.

Cen­tral De­sign and Print have sup­ported the CHB awards and Hall of Fame cat­e­gory for more than two decades.

“Cen­tral De­sign and Print have had great pride with be­ing in­volved in the sports awards over the last 23 years,” di­rec­tor Bruce Do­ran said.

Tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter and for­mer Black Fern Melodie Robin­son will be guest speaker at the func­tion.

Tickets are $50 per per­son and can be pur­chased on­line at www.sporth­bchb.net.nz or at the AW Par­sons Pool Re­cep­tion.

PHOTO / DUN­CAN BROWN

MC Keith Quinn and Rob­bie Stuart, i 2016 when Stuart was in­ducted into the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Foot­ball Union Hall of Fame.

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