Rugby Championship

All Blacks, PM Ardern honour rugby icon Lochore

2019-08-08 10:25
Brian Lochore
Brian Lochore (Getty Images)

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined a galaxy of former All Blacks stars and thousands of other mourners to pay tribute to rugby icon Brian Lochore at his funeral on Thursday.

Lochore, who died of cancer last weekend aged 78, played 68 games for the All Blacks, was captain in 18 Tests and coached the side to win the inaugural 1987 World Cup. 

His funeral was held on a rugby field in the farming town of Masterton, where he first came to prominence as a rangy backrower. 

"He was a legend, a man of huge stature not only in the world of rugby but in New Zealand. It feels only fitting that I pay my respects," Ardern said.

Lochore's black coffin was carried into the ground adorned with a silver fern and accompanied by the strains of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads". 

Vicar Steve Thompson said the rugby great had requested a "farmer's funeral" with a few prayers, a hymn and some of his good mates to speak.

He reportedly said on his deathbed that he did not want his funeral to disrupt the All Blacks preparations for this weekend's Test against Australia in Perth.

All Blacks manager Gilbert Enoka, who flew back for the funeral, told mourners the players will honour Lochore by wearing his All Blacks number 637 on their jerseys. 

"He poured charisma into common sense. What a skill, what a man, what an influence," Enoka said.

"He was a living example of the fact that you don't need to have academic degrees to have knowledge and wisdom - he had these qualities in spades."

Former All Blacks Ian Kirkpatrick and Wayne Smith were among the pallbearers carrying the coffin from the ground to a private funeral service. 

Also among the mourners were 1987 World Cup winning captain David Kirk, Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Tane Norton, Grant Fox and Michael Jones.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Did the Springboks' performance against the All Blacks in Wellington change your belief in who will win the Rugby World Cup?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.