25 Ian Kirk­patrick [1967-1977] CAPS 39

NZ Rugby World - - Brand Standing -

Spot­ted by coach Fred Allen play­ing Un­der 23 rugby, Ian Kirk­patrick was some­thing of a sur­prise in­clu­sion in the 1967 tour­ing team to Bri­tain and France where he was ex­pected to be a back-up to No 8 and cap­tain Brian Lo­chore.

So quickly did he ad­vance on the tour that he won test sta­tus as a blind­side flanker and re­shaped think­ing on the po­si­tion over the rest of his ca­reer.

His ath­leti­cism was dy­namic and is best rep­re­sented in his ru­n­away try scored in the sec­ond test against the Bri­tish & Ir­ish Lions at Lan­caster Park in 1971, still one of the great­est for­ward tries scored by an All Black. A nat­u­ral leader he led the side af­ter Colin Meads’ re­tire­ment un­til re­placed in a shock move in 1974.

But he gave great sup­port to new skip­per Andy Les­lie and re­mained a force un­til the end of the 1977 Lions se­ries.

His form in Aus­tralia and Ire­land, Wales and Eng­land in 1974 and in South Africa in 1976 was a high point and by the end of his ca­reer he had scored 16 test tries, an All Blacks record at the time.

All of which saw him as a dom­i­nant fig­ure in loose for­ward play and es­tab­lish­ing a tem­plate by which all fu­ture blind­side flankers would be mea­sured.

Once his play­ing days were com­plete, he coached his Poverty Bay club side Ngat­apa be­fore also as­sist­ing the coach­ing of the Poverty Bay rep­re­sen­ta­tive side.

In 1986 he trav­elled back to South Africa as man­ager of the Cava­liers and dur­ing the pro­fes­sional era he had a men­tor­ing role with the Hur­ri­canes.

MR DOM­I­NANT Ian Kirk­patrick was a huge pres­ence in the All Blacks’ loose trio.

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