The Dominion Post
By inspiration, perspiration
Lochore commanded respect from the toughest of team-mates and opponents.
Never a flashy player – not for him the rampaging runs of mate Meads, with the ball tucked in one hand – Lochore was a model of consistency, a total team man who did the basics well and made cool decisions under pressure.
He led the All Blacks to 15 wins in 18 tests for a 83 per cent success rate.
Only the Holy Grail – a first series triumph in South Africa – eluded Lochore as a player.
It was almost preordained, therefore, that he should coach the All Blacks to victory in the first Rugby World Cup tournament in 1987.
Again, there were hurdles to jump. The All Blacks were still dealing with the divisions caused by the rebel Cavaliers tour to South Africa in 1986, a tour that Lochore had refused to lead as coach.
Lochore drew his team together as only he could. He had his players billeted on farms to bring them closer to their fan base.
Only Lochore could have successfully harnessed two rival provincial coaches – Canterbury’s Alex Wyllie and Auckland’s John Hart – for the national good.
It was no surprise that Lochore was later sought for leadership roles outside rugby – in the farming and education sectors.
On the list of great All Black captains, Lochore ranks alongside Whineray, McCaw, Shelford and Graham Mourie, the 1977 to 1982 test skipper, with Read poised to join the pantheon if the All Blacks win a third consecutive World Cup.
All were impressive leaders in their own right, but none have contributed more to their sport, their district and their country than Sir Brian Lochore.