Ge­orge Sel­lars

Herald on Sunday - - SPORT -

Sel­lars was a mem­ber of the first of­fi­cial New Zealand Maori team, in 1910, and be­came an All Black in 1913, when he toured North Amer­ica. He was a reg­u­lar in the Auck­land front row dur­ing 1909-15, when he joined the New Zealand Ex­pe­di­tionary Force and went to war. He was the first of three Pon­sonby

All Blacks to be killed in ac­tion — Dave Gal­la­her and Bill Car­son (World War II) be­ing the oth­ers. A renowned tough guy, he played in the great 1909 Pon­sonby side, one of five men in the pack who had been or would be All Blacks. His con­sis­tently strong per­for­mances for his club and prov­ince caught the eye of the All Blacks se­lec­tors in 1913 — no na­tional team hav­ing be­ing se­lected since 1910. A mem­ber of the side to North Amer­ica, he played against Aus­tralia at home be­fore leav­ing. On tour, he was one of the lead­ing play­ers, and one of the busiest, ap­pear­ing in 14 of the 16 matches. Sel­lars was killed at Messines, Bel­gium, while car­ry­ing a wounded com­rade. He was the first of three All Blacks to lose their lives in that bat­tle within a fort­night. Wing for­ward Reg Tay­lor was killed on June 20, while Jim McNeece died of wounds a day later. On the same day as Sel­lars was killed, an­other 1913 All Black, James Baird, died of wounds in France.

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