New Zealand rugby is mourning the passing of two great forwards, Tiny White and Jock Hobbs.
Both players featured against the British & Irish Lions during their illustrious careers, with Canterbury back row man Hobbs enjoying an unblemished record of five games against the 1983 tourists. White died in Gisborne on March 10 and Hobbs passed away on March 13.
Hobbs scored a try in the fourth and final Test to help his side complete a clean sweep with a 38-6 win in Auckland and he also helped Canterbury notch a famous 22-20 triumph over Ciaran Fitzgerald’s men.
Hobbs played 21 times for his country – four as captain – between 1983 and 1986, scoring four tries. He later became Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union and, in that role, he played a major role in securing the hosting rights for last year’s Rugby World Cup.
He served on the IRB Council as a New Zealand Rugby Union representative from 2002-2007. During his time on Council he was a member of the IRB Executive Committee and Chairman of the IRB Regulations Committee. In all, he was Chairman of the NZRU from 2002 to 2010, as well as being Chairman of Rugby New Zealand 2011, but stood down from both roles in May 2010 due to illness.
Hobbs was present at the Rugby World Cup Final in Eden Park to witness Richie McCaw lifting the Webb Ellis Cup and, the following day, he won the prestigious Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service at the 2011 IRB Awards ceremony in Auckland.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Jock’s contribution to New Zealand Rugby as a player and Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union and to world Rugby as an IRB Council Member has been exceptional.
“Among numerous highlights, he provided the vision, passion and leadership that secured New Zealand the right to host RWC 2011 and as Chairman of RNZ 2011 those qualities laid the foundations for a hugely successful tournament of which New Zealanders and the global Rugby family can be proud.”
Jock Hobbs v 1983 Lions
04/06/1983 New Zealand 16 – 12 British Lions
18/06/1983 New Zealand 9 – 0 British Lions
28/06/1983 Canterbury 22 – 20 British Lions
02/07/1983 New Zealand 15 – 8 British Lions
16/07/1983 New Zealand 38 – 6 British Lions Try
Richard ‘Tiny’ White played 55 games, including 23 Tests, for the All Blacks and more than 100 games for Poverty Bay during an outstanding career as a second row forward. He helped the All Blacks beat the 1950 Lions 3-0 with one game drawn and also played against the tourists in a provincial game.
He made 23 consecutive Test appearances for the All Blacks during his international career before devoting his time to sheep farming. He became Mayor of Gisborne in 1977.
Tiny White v 1950 Lions
27/05/1950 New Zealand 9 – 9 British Lions
10/06/1950 New Zealand 8 – 0 British Lions
21/06/1950 Combined XV 3 – 27 British Lions
01/07/1950 New Zealand 6 – 3 British Lions
29/07/1950 New Zealand 11 – 8 British Lions