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Thread: 2007 Inductees to the Rugby Hall of fame

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    2007 Inductees to the Rugby Hall of fame

    Lomu to be inducted in Rugby Hall of Fame
    19/06/2007 05:16 PM
    Yahoo!Xtra
    Ten legends from the last eight decades of international rugby union, including Jonah Lomu and Graham Mourie are to be inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.

    The 2007 Inductees include nine players and one writer, legendary New Zealand sports writer Sir Terry McLean, who passed away in 2004.

    The ten were elected after a rigorous induction process involving a Screening Committee of selected international rugby writers and board of Trustees.

    The 2007 Inductees
    Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)
    Sir Terry McLean (New Zealand)
    Graham Mourie (New Zealand)
    Ieuan Evans (Wales & British Isles)
    Danie Gerber (South Africa)
    Tom Kiernan (Ireland & British Isles)
    Jason Leonard (England & British Isles)
    Bennie Osler (South Africa)
    Fergus Slattery (Ireland & British Isles)
    Joost van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

    The 2007 Inductees have served their countries both on and off the field with courage and vision.

    Their great feats are being now being acknowledged by their induction into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.

    As a player, Jason Leonard reflected all that was good about the game at
    every level.

    Initially a great clubman with Saracens and then Harlequins, he went on to play 14 seasons of international rugby.

    With England he shared in Triple Crown, Grand Slam and Five and Six Nations
    triumphs, gained a Rugby World Cup winner's medal, and became the first
    wearer of the red rose to play 100 tests before finishing his career
    with 114 caps, still a record for his country.

    His 23 matches for the British and Irish Lions over the course of three tours to New Zealand, South Africa and Australia included another five tests and the honour of captaincy in provincial fixtures.

    Another of this year's inductees who will need no introduction is the
    All Black icon Jonah Lomu. His barnstorming arrival in test rugby at the
    age of 19 in 1994 helped to redefine wing play at the top level.

    Over the next eight years he scored a remarkable 37 tries for New Zealand,
    including four in the 1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final against England.

    There will be no shortage of other serial test try scorers at this October's Induction. Joost van der Westhuizen scored 38 tries in 89 tests for South Africa from the scrum-half position and is widely regarded as one of the best and certainly most feared scrum-halves of his generation.

    Likewise, Ieuan Evans of Wales and another triple Lion touched down 33 times for his country as well as setting a new national record with 28 games as captain.

    The International Rugby Hall of Fame continues to recognise great personalities from across the generations. Thus, two posthumous awards will be to a Springbok captain of the 1920s and 1930s, Bennie Osler and the distinguished Kiwi journalist and author of 32 books, Sir Terry McLean

    From a more recent vintage of great players comes another formidable Springbok, Danie Gerber, a world-class centre of the 1980s with 19 tries in 24 tests who symbolised his country's successful re-emergence on the international scene.

    As well as Jonah Lomu and Sir Terry McLean, the enduring influence and quality of New Zealand rugby is further recognised by the induction of Graham Mourie, a marvellously constructive flanker who led his country in 19 of his 21 tests including a grand slam tour of Europe in 1978.

    And the Lions pedigree doesn't start and finish with Jason Leonard and Ieuan Evans.

    Two legendary Irish Lions are also to be inducted. Tom Kiernan set new marks for caps, points and captaincy in 13 seasons in the green jersey and toured South Africa twice with the Lions, including as captain in 1968.

    Kiernan's career was almost replicated by the dynamic flanker Fergus Slattery another captain of Ireland in 17 of his 61 tests and a leading role on two Lions tours that included the historic and invincible expedition to South Africa in 1974.

    The International Rugby Hall of Fame Trust was created as a charitable trust in New Zealand in 1995 and the first induction took place two years later.

    Among the original inductees were the All Black Colin Meads, Lions' legends Willie John McBride and Gareth Edwards, and the magical French full back Serge Blanco.

    The Trust is independent of any rugby body and its nomination and voting
    processes are vigorous. The short list for the biennial induction is
    compiled via nominations from 35 senior rugby journalists from all over
    the world, and the final list of ten is identified by polling the twelve
    trustees of the International Rugby Hall of Fame, many of them
    established inductees in their own right.

    Designed to honour players, coaches or any individual who has made a
    major contribution to the game of rugby union, players have to be
    retired from international test rugby for twelve months to qualify for
    the initial voting process.

    Find this item at:
    http://yahooxtra.net.nz/rugby/0,,14661-7508097,00.html

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    This is different to the IRB's Hall of Fame that we have been discussing, which would probably be why it has such a disproportionate representation from New Zealand.
    Nice to be inducted none the less.

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