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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 30 Jan 2017 - 16:08

First topic message reminder :

Well, the title explains it really, just for a bit of a debate, and no need to get all tetchy, after debating on here about players not born in the country they represent, I have done some re-search and come up with a list for all the 6N squads and who has players born outside their country. Now we can all debate about players who have lived in their country since they were a 1yr old and the what not, but I have included everybody so that I am not accused of bias ect. One thing that surprised me the most, is the way Scotland have taken advantage of the grandparent ruling. I was not aware of that many.

It does seem that each nation up here is as guilty as the next, but what I now want to debate is, the one's we would consider genuine, as I am not as educated in the history of other nations players, for example I was not aware that Josh van der Flier was 100% Irish until I was educated on the matter on this forum the other day. So this thread is an opportunity for us all to fight the case for the players in our nations squads, please see below for the players I have re-searched:-

England


D Hartley NZ Mother
J Clifford Aus Mother
T Harrison NZ Father
M Williams Zim Grandfather
N Hughes Fiji Residency
B Te'o NZ Mother
M Yarde St Lucia Residency

Ireland


F Bealham Aus Grandmother
U Dillane Fra Mother
CJ Stander SA Residency
J Heaslip Isreal Parents
K Marmion Eng Parents
L McGrath Can Parents

Scotland


A Allan Eng Grandfarther
S Berghan NZ Grandfarther
A Dell SA Grandmother
T Swinson Eng Grandmother
B Toolis Aus Mother
J Barclay HK Parents
J Hardie NZ Grandmother
R Harley Eng Parents
H Watson Eng Grandparents
C Du Preez SA Residency
J Strauss SA Residency
R Wilson Eng Grandfather
A Price Eng Mother
H Pyrgos Eng Mother
D Taylor Eng Parents
S Maitland NZ Grandparents
T Seymour  USA Mother
T Visser Hol Residency

Wales


T Francis Eng Grandmother
J Ball Eng Father
L Charteris Eng Parents
O Cracknell Eng Grandfather
T Faletau Tonga Residency
J King Aus Residency
J Davies Eng Parents
A Cuthbert Eng Mother
G North Eng Mother

France


U Atonio NZ Residency
N Nakaitaci Fiji Residency
V Vakatawa Fiji Residency
S Spedding SA Residency

Italy


D Chistolini SA Grandfather
O Gega Alb Residency
G Biagi Sco Parents
J Furno Aus Father
S Schalkwyk SA Residency
S Parisse Arg Parents
A Steyn SA Residency
L Mclean Aus Grandmother

So, can we/should we debate this ? I would like to, I would like to find out who people would consider genuinely qualified.

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Post by George Carlin on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 11:54

I was born outside the country of my choice. 

When I was 10 I wanted to be from New York or Narnia.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 11:55

GeordieFalcon wrote:...this can all be helped by World Rugby sorting out the mess that is the Pacific Islands Administration etc...
That's the main point. Without it, changing the length of the qualification period won't make players more likely to plump for Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. Dan Leo spelled that out very eloquently on the Rugby Dungeon podcast. When your union doesn't arrange adequate transport, insurance, medical cover or even actually pay you on time, then it can feel like an abusive relationship. Especially when you get used to professional standards elsewhere.

More generally, I think supporters in the North have learned a bit of a lesson over the years. We used to be very critical of NZ and Australia for having islander players because it seemed they should be turning out for Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. We only really understand what was going on now we have the Tuilagi, Faletau and Vunipola families growing up here. They have multiple loyalties, as the Vunipolas showed when they paid for the Tongan team's victory party after their win over Italy.

Apropos nothing, here's the England 2003 World Cup squad

Stuart Abbott - South Africa
Mike Catt - South Africa
Simon Shaw - Kenya
Dorian West - Wales
Kyran Bracken - Ireland

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 11:56

Currently we're playing to the same rules as everyone. I've called for Hughes in the squad when we could. I look forward to the scores of tries Solomona will score. Still think residency is too short.

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Post by dummy_half on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:23

No 7&1/2 wrote:Currently we're playing to the same rules as everyone. I've called for Hughes in the squad when we could. I look forward to the scores of tries Solomona will score. Still think residency is too short.

Agree with all of this. It may be somewhat hypocritical but use the existing rules to our advantage while working on ways to improve them (i.e. scrap the grandparents rule and extend residency to 6 or 7 years).

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:27

..and end conflict-of-interest educational funding for young foreign players not already professional.

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Post by Blueschief on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:30

I like the 5 year plan for residency qualification, but the grandparent rule is tricky. Perhaps completing a two or three year residency period if you have grandparents born in that country.

So you have to complete a 5 year residency if you have no relatives, or if you have a grandparent or two, just complete a 2/3 year residency (a contract).

For example Thomas Francis would have to play in Wales for two years minimum before turning out for Wales.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:38

I wonder will the five year rule mean that younger players will just be targeted now?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:43

Mistake with duplicated post.


Last edited by No 7&1/2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:44; edited 1 time in total

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:43

GunsGermsV2 wrote:I wonder will the five year rule mean that younger players will just be targeted now?

..that would be the risk. Instead of less foreign players coming in with the more strict guidelines, it might mean more of them to have a selection ready and waiting to choose from after five years.

The policy sounds a good one in theory but there are risks in practice.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:44

No 7&1/2 wrote:Currently we're playing to the same rules as everyone. I've called for Hughes in the squad when we could. I look forward to the scores of tries Solomona will score. Still think residency is too short.

Another guy just made the same point a while back. I think the two of you are on to something. Wink

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 12:57

Ah not Solomana aswell!! Its a joke!

Makes a mockery of international rugby!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 13:00

You know it's going to happen gf.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 13:44

The first player I recall feeling uncomfortable about was Mark van Ginsberg. I can recall the press counting out a timetable for when he would qualify on residency grounds for England. As it turned out, he didn't really impress in an underwhelming England set-up, so that never became an issue.

I can't really recall another player coming over before that - either in the amateur or early professional eras - and being talked about for England before being residency-qualified. (I think Dewi Morris was already time-served when England spotted him).



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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:07

What about Benjamin Burns? He played for England in their first ever test match against Scotland. The first test ever in rugby union. Burns was born in Scotland and grew up in India and New Zealand.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:09

No 7&1/2 wrote:You know it's going to happen gf.

Ah I don't doubt it....I just despise the thought of it!

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Post by miaow on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:19

George Carlin wrote:I was born outside the country of my choice. 

When I was 10 I wanted to be from New York or Narnia.

One is allegedly where Donald Trump comes from.

Being born in the other means you can run for the office of President of the USA.

Or...wait....ermmm...

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Post by miaow on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:24

dummy_half wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Currently we're playing to the same rules as everyone. I've called for Hughes in the squad when we could. I look forward to the scores of tries Solomona will score. Still think residency is too short.

Agree with all of this. It may be somewhat hypocritical but use the existing rules to our advantage while working on ways to improve them (i.e. scrap the grandparents rule and extend residency to 6 or 7 years).

That's the very definition of benefiting from something due to an explicit and perhaps unfair advantage (i.e. the money and appeal of the English Premiership), and then pulling to ladder up after you.

How can the RFU be moral arbitrators of anything on this issue when their complacency is very clearly content to use the residency rule to improve the national team? I suspect your view is one a very widely held one in the powers of the game, and that's what feels rank: quick boys, cap as many as we can before it's too late, and then change the rules for the system once we've done this.

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Post by miaow on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:26

No 7&1/2 wrote:And bring the same rules for coaches.

How far do you go? Head Coach? All professional coaches? Dreadful idea that would never see the game grow or expand outside the heartlands, and directly benefit those with the most money, people, and resources. Also- I'm fairly certain- illegal based on discrimination laws. So where would you make that cut off for who among the coaching and all other non-playing staff? Which roles are foreigners allowed to have?

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Post by miaow on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:30

GunsGermsV2 wrote:I wonder will the five year rule mean that younger players will just be targeted now?

A point I made in a thread elsewhere regarding the whole system of education and amateur rugby, right up to the pro clubs and the governing bodies of countries:

miaow wrote:I was talking generally, that weakening the current mercenary option- i.e. discouraging clubs and countries from colluding to recruit low 20-somethings on their potential as project players by making the qualification period five years- might see the same countries move their focus solely to the 'external recruitment' of teenagers and schoolchildren, via the private school system.

That is already very much the case. There are countless examples, and England are the 'greatest' exponents of this. The RFU- the old blazers that they are- aren't going to rock the boat as they know who their institutional support base and structure is, and would be ambivalent at worst, encouraging at best, towards the fee paying schools' attitude and behaviour within the current system.

I suppose in terms of the RFU/iRB/World Rugby, the thing to do would be tighten up the rules even further if we find ourselves in 20 years time with English or South African private schools handing out scholarships to plenty of Kenyan teenagers on the basis of their rugby potential. Or better yet, think of a way to ward against that happening. You don't build an emerging or less structurally able country by stripping it of the people who will build it up and sustain it. That's exploitation by the wealthy, success through the back door.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:41

dummy_half has got me thinking.

In wheelchair rugby, they have a points system. Players are awarded points based on their degree of disability and a team has to keep below a fixed points limit.

Suppose World Rugby were to introduce a points system - say:
0 points - born here or arrived before age 6 (i.e. all rugby development in the country) [this would cover A & B below]
1 point - arrived before representative rugby (U16) [~C & D] or both parents from country [F]
2 points - arrived before U20 / academy contract in the country [E] or 1 parent [G]
3 points - arrived as a professional player or grandparents

Each team has to stay under a defined points quota.

dummy_half wrote:
A - Clearly the right country, just odd places of birth. This would be the likes of Barclay and Heaslip
B - At least one parent and residence from childhood: Clifford
C - Immigrated as children and some or all rugby development in the country. Yarde, Faletau, Vunipola brothers, Tuillagi (and to be honest, I see this as very little different to B)
D - At least one parent and residence from young adult - Hartley
E - Residence from young adulthood (e.g. University student), with no particular rugby-based reason for moving. Mauritz Botha and Hendre Fourie I think fall into this group.
F - Both parents being from the country
G - One parent being from the country*
H - Residence after moving for a professional sports contract (noting the earlier comments about the disparity of opportunity between representing e.g. Fiji and England - something World Rugby need to address)
I - Grandparents.
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Post by aucklandlaurie on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:50

Poorfour wrote:dummy_half has got me thinking.

In wheelchair rugby, they have a points system. Players are awarded points based on their degree of disability and a team has to keep below a fixed points limit.

Suppose World Rugby were to introduce a points system - say:
0 points - born here or arrived before age 6 (i.e. all rugby development in the country) [this would cover A & B below]
1 point - arrived before representative rugby (U16) [~C & D] or both parents from country [F]
2 points - arrived before U20 / academy contract in the country [E] or 1 parent [G]
3 points - arrived as a professional player or grandparents

Each team has to stay under a defined points quota.

dummy_half wrote:
A - Clearly the right country, just odd places of birth. This would be the likes of Barclay and Heaslip
B - At least one parent and residence from childhood: Clifford
C - Immigrated as children and some or all rugby development in the country. Yarde, Faletau, Vunipola brothers, Tuillagi (and to be honest, I see this as very little different to B)
D - At least one parent and residence from young adult - Hartley
E - Residence from young adulthood (e.g. University student), with no particular rugby-based reason for moving. Mauritz Botha and Hendre Fourie I think fall into this group.
F - Both parents being from the country
G - One parent being from the country*
H - Residence after moving for a professional sports contract (noting the earlier comments about the disparity of opportunity between representing e.g. Fiji and England - something World Rugby need to address)
I - Grandparents.

 J - Meets 36 month residency clause, but was playing some other sport not Rugby Union.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 14:51

So. scoring LD's original list:

LordDowlais wrote:England


D Hartley NZ Mother 2
J Clifford Aus Mother 1
T Harrison NZ Father 2
M Williams Zim Grandfather 3
N Hughes Fiji Residency 3
B Te'o NZ Mother 2
M Yarde St Lucia Residency 1

Total 14 points - likely squad value would be 11

Ireland


F Bealham Aus Grandmother 3
U Dillane Fra Mother 2
CJ Stander SA Residency 3
J Heaslip Isreal Parents 1
K Marmion Eng Parents 1
L McGrath Can Parents 1

Total points value - 11

Scotland


A Allan Eng Grandfarther 3
S Berghan NZ Grandfarther 3
A Dell SA Grandmother 3
T Swinson Eng Grandmother 3
B Toolis Aus Mother 2
J Barclay HK Parents 1
J Hardie NZ Grandmother 3
R Harley Eng Parents 2
H Watson Eng Grandparents 3
C Du Preez SA Residency 3
J Strauss SA Residency 3
R Wilson Eng Grandfather 3
A Price Eng Mother 2
H Pyrgos Eng Mother 2
D Taylor Eng Parents 1
S Maitland NZ Grandparents 3
T Seymour USA Mother 2
T Visser Hol Residency 3

Total = 45 (!)

Wales

T Francis Eng Grandmother 3
J Ball Eng Father 2
L Charteris Eng Parents 1
O Cracknell Eng Grandfather 3
T Faletau Tonga Residency 1
J King Aus Residency 3
J Davies Eng Parents 1
A Cuthbert Eng Mother 2
G North Eng Mother 2

Total = 18

France


U Atonio NZ Residency 3
N Nakaitaci Fiji Residency 3
V Vakatawa Fiji Residency 3
S Spedding SA Residency 3

Total = 12

Italy

D Chistolini SA Grandfather 3
O Gega Alb Residency 3
G Biagi Sco Parents 1
J Furno Aus Father 2
S Schalkwyk SA Residency 3
S Parisse Arg Parents 1
A Steyn SA Residency 3
L Mclean Aus Grandmother 3

Total = 19

It feels like something along the lines of 15 points would be a suitable limit - but it occurs to me that you could allow different limits for different countries for various criteria. For instance, you could allow 1-2 more points for each RWC seeding tier below the top 4, or more points if you have a lower adult playing base.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 15:37

I'd like to see the same rules across the board for all staff miaow.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 15:52

aucklandlaurie wrote:
Poorfour wrote:dummy_half has got me thinking.

In wheelchair rugby, they have a points system. Players are awarded points based on their degree of disability and a team has to keep below a fixed points limit.

Suppose World Rugby were to introduce a points system - say:
0 points - born here or arrived before age 6 (i.e. all rugby development in the country) [this would cover A & B below]
1 point - arrived before representative rugby (U16) [~C & D] or both parents from country [F]
2 points - arrived before U20 / academy contract in the country [E] or 1 parent [G]
3 points - arrived as a professional player or grandparents

Each team has to stay under a defined points quota.

dummy_half wrote:
A - Clearly the right country, just odd places of birth. This would be the likes of Barclay and Heaslip
B - At least one parent and residence from childhood: Clifford
C - Immigrated as children and some or all rugby development in the country. Yarde, Faletau, Vunipola brothers, Tuillagi (and to be honest, I see this as very little different to B)
D - At least one parent and residence from young adult - Hartley
E - Residence from young adulthood (e.g. University student), with no particular rugby-based reason for moving. Mauritz Botha and Hendre Fourie I think fall into this group.
F - Both parents being from the country
G - One parent being from the country*
H - Residence after moving for a professional sports contract (noting the earlier comments about the disparity of opportunity between representing e.g. Fiji and England - something World Rugby need to address)
I - Grandparents.

 J - Meets 36 month residency clause, but was playing some other sport not Rugby Union.

One of my biggest gripes is the cross code switchers! Henry Paul, Lesley Vainikolo, Ben T'eo potentially Solomana...for England.

I simply believe you play for one in league, you play for the other in Union!

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Post by Guest on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 15:59

Poorfour wrote:So. scoring LD's original list:

LordDowlais wrote:England



Wales

T Francis Eng Grandmother 3
J Ball Eng Father 2
L Charteris Eng Parents 1
O Cracknell Eng Grandfather 3
T Faletau Tonga Residency 1
J King Aus Residency 3
J Davies Eng Parents 1
A Cuthbert Eng Mother 2
G North Eng Mother 2

Total = 18


It feels like something along the lines of 15 points would be a suitable limit - but it occurs to me that you could allow different limits for different countries for various criteria. For instance, you could allow 1-2 more points for each RWC seeding tier below the top 4, or more points if you have a lower adult playing base.

Just looking at the Wales one (as that's all I really know), you have the confusing situation of players who qualify on parents and residency and arrived at a young age, and a combo of all of the above.  So North and J Davies would probably be scored the same as Faletau, i.e. 1 or even 0?  They arrived as infants I believe, and Faletau arrived around 8?  James King I think has been with the Ospreys region since he was 18 so might fit into a 'lesser points penalty' category.

It's an interesting system though.  I quite like it.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 16:20

Griff wrote:
Just looking at the Wales one (as that's all I really know), you have the confusing situation of players who qualify on parents and residency and arrived at a young age, and a combo of all of the above.  So North and J Davies would probably be scored the same as Faletau, i.e. 1 or even 0?  They arrived as infants I believe, and Faletau arrived around 8?  James King I think has been with the Ospreys region since he was 18 so might fit into a 'lesser points penalty' category.

It's an interesting system though.  I quite like it.

The idea would be that the lowest points category counts. So a player born in country A who lived overseas in country B and played age grade rugby there - off the top of my head, Martin Johnson would be a fair example - would count as a 0 for country A but 2 for country B (and obviously would have to pick one or the other). The scoring probably needs a bit of refinement, but the principle is well established in disability sports so it could work here.

In terms of the Welsh players, I was just going with what LD supplied, so I may have scored some of them too highly.

What I like about it as an idea is that it discourages countries from wholesale importing of players, but isn't as restrictive on individual players as a 5 year residency rule would be.
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Post by True Raven on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 16:54

Poorfour wrote:
Griff wrote:
Just looking at the Wales one (as that's all I really know), you have the confusing situation of players who qualify on parents and residency and arrived at a young age, and a combo of all of the above.  So North and J Davies would probably be scored the same as Faletau, i.e. 1 or even 0?  They arrived as infants I believe, and Faletau arrived around 8?  James King I think has been with the Ospreys region since he was 18 so might fit into a 'lesser points penalty' category.

It's an interesting system though.  I quite like it.

The idea would be that the lowest points category counts. So a player born in country A who lived overseas in country B and played age grade rugby there - off the top of my head, Martin Johnson would be a fair example - would count as a 0 for country A but 2 for country B (and obviously would have to pick one or the other). The scoring probably needs a bit of refinement, but the principle is well established in disability sports so it could work here.

In terms of the Welsh players, I was just going with what LD supplied, so I may have scored some of them too highly.

What I like about it as an idea is that it discourages countries from wholesale importing of players, but isn't as restrictive on individual players as a 5 year residency rule would be.

I'm sure Geoff(?) the Ulster fan had a scoring system in a debate previously.

I cant remember exactly his method but it was something like you needed 50 points to qualify for a nation to play international rugby and each stipulation was worth points such as residency for 3 years- 20 points, grandparent - 30 points and country of birth - 50 points and when totalled up if you reached the magic number, you could gain international honours.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 17:25

True Raven wrote:
I'm sure Geoff(?) the Ulster fan had a scoring system in a debate previously.

I cant remember exactly his method but it was something like you needed 50 points to qualify for a nation to play international rugby and each stipulation was worth points such as residency for 3 years- 20 points, grandparent - 30 points and country of birth - 50 points and when totalled up if you reached the magic number, you could gain international honours.

So the Aussie immigration system, then? That's also a possibility, but it wouldn't stop a union fielding a team made entirely of converts, if they could accumulate enough points. If you wanted to stop that, you'd have to make the qualification period for people with no connection very long, which is essentially what's being discussed at the moment but is a bit of a blunt instrument.

I like the idea of making at least partly the union's issue and not just the player's.
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Post by miaow on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 22:20

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd like to see the same rules across the board for all staff miaow.

What would you do with a glut of good, qualified English or Kiwi coaches- in all disciplines, from fitness, to tactics, to all the modern support staff you can have- who are left over because there aren't enough positions? Become P.E. teachers? Rather than use their expertise and knowledge to spread the game and improve standards where they're most needed, i.e. countries with little or no existing Rugby structures? Do you take this all the way down to semi-pro level?

Strikes of some pretty worrying localism to me.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 22:26

I'd probably just say it's coaching staff but yes they should have the same rules applied to them as the players. Let them go and qualify for France or whoever but once they've represented that team at a coaching.level they are tied to then.

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Post by Scottrf on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 22:29

Why not make it local level? You can only coach the closest club side to your birth.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 22:34

Okay..if we're going to go all Trump on this topic - let's stretch it to fans. Blow-in French people that might have lived most of their lives in Scotland shouldn't simply be allowed get tickets for Scottish games when real Scottish fans (born in Scotland) might have trouble getting them.

If you are born in France you are only allowed support France.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 22:39

You would want the same rules applied to clubs Scott? May improve the money time and effort put into academies I suppose.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 22:41

Why are people happy to see coaches hop from one country to another? Should we say players can? Surely it's localism to expect players to be tied to one side? I'm fine with it England can just go and buy the best.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 22:52

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why are people happy to see coaches hoo from one country to another? Should we say players can? Surely it's localism to expect players to be tied to one side? I'm fine with it England can just go and buy the best.

Well, I suppose a coach doesn't play the game. The game is the deal between Nations. It's where the kudos comes from and many coaches say that they only do so much to assist the teams but that the players have to do the real work in the game on the field. The game is the gladiator battle.

For my part, I can't understand why some people don't seem to get it as to why most of us want our own Players, from our own neighbourhoods or regions putting on a shirt that represents us as a Nation and going to battle in an 'International' sport. It's the entire meaning of Nation and the entire purpose of International. If some people want to Clubise International then just kill off International sport as a spectacle altogether.

But before that happens, I think America should pay both Usain Bolt and Mo Farah to run for them in the next Olympics - after all, it's all about making America Great Again! So lets all buy Greatness if we can.


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Post by Sin é on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 22:53

SecretFly wrote:
miaow wrote:
rodders wrote:Wow Wales and Scotland are like England B and C sides....which is ironic because they've morphed into the barbarians.  

Looking forward to when Ireland replace the Wolfhounds with the Irish Maori.

Me too!  We have a grand affinity of spirit going with the Kiwis.  Brothers from another Mother and all that jazz Wink

North Island used be called New Ulster, South Island 'New Munster'.

The New Munster Party seeks to revive New Munster as an independent republic separate from New Zealand. Very Happy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Munster_Province

edit: The New Munster Party[22] is a social democratic and nationalist political party that is committed to the creation of an independent Republic of New Munster. Created in 2010, its objective is to give New Munster the necessary institutions for its economic, social, cultural, environmental and political development. Its aspirations include regional autonomy comparable to European regions such as Scotland, or full independence, as with Ireland.[23]
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 1 Feb 2017 - 23:07

Go Munster! Now I won't need a passport to visit Milford Sound!

First All Black Captain... Irish too.

Seriously though, I do feel an affinity with them as a people. Even the gruff old basterdes like Hansen, Henry and Gatland...well, you kinda like their spice, you like that they rattle cages and don't give a schidt about the 'norms' of courteous behaviour. There is always a twinkle in the eyes as they do their put-downs.
But the nice ones are really nice and they have an innate sense of loyalty...if treated right. If treated badly...................... well, Gatland has his elephant memory Whistle

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