Cape Town - New Zealand's voice of rugby, Grant Nisbett - universally known as Nisbo to friends
and strangers alike - will commentate his 300th All Blacks Test in his home
town on Wellington on Saturday, June 16, after being made a Member of the New
Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to sports broadcasting.
According to the Stuff website's Mark Geenty, the letter signed by Prime
Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived at Nisbett's house and evoked a
His wife, Toni, died of cancer in December 2015, and
Nisbett could hardly wait to tell his Auckland-based daughters Brooke
and Kirstie who will be back home for the father's milestone Test.
No one has watched more All Blacks rugby in person, a feat previously
noted by Nisbett's friend Keith Quinn who called nearly 200 Tests himself.
Nisbett's first televised call was the All Blacks' 10-9 win over France
in Christchurch in 1984, and his 300th will be against the same
opponents at the Westpac Stadium, after Saturday's series opener in
He only counts the ones he called in person. That rules out one in
Argentina when he called Scott Robertson's winning try from Auckland,
and another at the Melbourne Cricket Ground when a dispute over virtual
advertising meant a lockout and left Nisbett clutching the microphone in
a nearby studio.
Most of his 298 were chalked up in the past 22 years as Sky's lead
Aside from his two World Cup finals in 2011 and 2015,
a Nisbett favourite remains the 1996 Athletic Park Test against the
Wallabies, a 43-6 win on a rotten Wellington afternoon.
Post 300, there are no plans to hang up the microphone. 'Nisbo' still
loves his job and remains the consummate professional.
decisions are not yours, I suspect. As long as I can keep the standards
up. You'd be the first to know if your standards were starting to drop
away. I think I'm still hanging in there."
For the record, the All Blacks have played 571 Tests in their history, winning 440 of those for a staggering 77% win-rate.