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Stormin' Norm Hadley 1961-2016 - RIP

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 27 Mar 2016, 2:32 pm

Cheerio big man.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 27 Mar 2016, 2:58 pm

Lucky enough to know him a little. A very funny, and very kind guy.

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Post by Shifty Sun 27 Mar 2016, 4:28 pm

Ah I thought his name was familiar he's a Canadian player from the 90's.

RIP, condolences to his family.
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Post by Mr Bounce Sun 27 Mar 2016, 5:01 pm

RIP big guy. A magnificent example of everything right about this game.

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Post by BigGee Sun 27 Mar 2016, 5:31 pm

I always remembered the story when he chucked a couple of thugs off the tube in London when they were harassing some girl. I think they took one look at him and decided that any retaliation was futile!

One of the good guys

RIP

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:59 pm

A lot of people might not know who Norm Hadley is but, if you met him, you'd never forget him.

Physically, he was huge. Bigger than any current England international. Martin Bayfield was taller, but a lot thinner. Among current players, Will Skelton has a similar build. At the time he was playing, that was a heck of a size to be.

In the closing days of the amateur era, Canada had quite a team. They claimed victories over France, Scotland, Fiji, Romania and Wales (in Cardiff). 1n 1993, they beat an England XV which included the likes of Neil Back, Martin Johnson, Jon Hall, Graham Rowntree, Victor Ubogu, Steve Ojomoh, Kyran Bracken and Chris Oti. It was almost a full-capped international, but England management changed their mind on status.

Canada posed a stiffer challenge back then than Italy does now. With the benefit of hindsight, a more enlightened IRB investment policy might have seen them push on in the professional era to the status of a side like Argentina.

Hadley didn't play in all the big Canadian wins but he was a central figure in their rugby during that era. Every major team who played against him knew they'd faced a very hard man. That includes New Zealand in the 1991 World Cup quarter final.

Highlight reels usually don't do much justice to tight five forwards. Some of Norm Hadley's games didn't even get televised, so there's virtually no video evidence around of the influence he could have on a pitch.

He made friends everywhere he went, though, and you can see that in some of the tributes which have been paid to him by the rugby communities in Canada, England and Japan, the three countries where he spent most of his time. They all talk about how smart, funny and generous he was. That's certainly how I remember him.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 29 Mar 2016, 12:41 pm

No way!! I never heard about this! What happened to him? EDIT: Looks like an apparent heart attack.

He has always and will always be one of the locks in my all time favourite XV. Monster of a guy, and in a very good Canadian side at the time!

RIP Big man!

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