Kane pays tribute to All Blacks great Haden – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

Log In

Reset Password

Kane pays tribute to All Blacks great Haden

Former New Zealand captain Andy Haden, “a great supporter of the World Rugby Classic”, lost his long battle with cancer last week. He was aged 69.

Haden, who played 41 Tests for the All Blacks from 1972 to 1985, was instrumental in bringing the first New Zealand team to Bermuda to compete in the Classic in 1989.

John Kane, the Classic president, recalls the 2am phone call he received from Haden which led to the former lock leading a star-studded All Blacks side to victory in the tournament that year.

Among the decorated names that graced the National Sports Club, where the Classic was previously held, were Stu Wilson, Bernie Fraser, Bill Osborne, who is now the New Zealand Rugby president, Murray Mexted, Mark Shaw, Andy Dalton and John Ashworth.

“In a strong Kiwi accent I was told, as I woke from a deep sleep, ‘you can't call it the World Rugby Classic if New Zealand is not represented!' Who is this calling at this unearthly hour?' I managed to utter and was told, ‘this is the All Black Andy Haden'.

“The invitation was immediately issued and an unbelievable team of All Blacks talent arrived in Bermuda for the second Classic.

Kane added: “One of my great memories was standing on the touchline at the National Sports Club and saying to the person next to me: “Did you in your wildest dreams ever imagine you would see a star-studded New Zealand rugby team doing the haka in Bermuda?”

“The person I spoke to couldn't reply as the tears rolled down his face!”

Haden, who went on to serve as manager of the All Blacks at the Classic for many years, captained his country on eight occasions. He earned his place as a fixture in the New Zealand second row after making his Test debut in 1977 against the British and Irish Lions in Wellington, New Zealand.

Kane remembers Haden being just as competitive on the golf course as he was on the rugby pitch.

“Andy was also a fierce competitor on the golf course in the Classic's golf tournament at Riddell's Bay where, if New Zealand were not the winners, he rechecked the scores to make sure an error hadn't occurred.

“In the early days of the Classic his wife, Trecha, also came to the Classic and to Trecha, and their two children Christopher and Laura, all of us involved in the Classic send our deepest sympathies on the loss of a husband and father, a loss which has also left a big hole in the Classic family all over the world.”

One of the family: Andy Haden, far right, was manager of the All Blacks side which won the Classic in 2014

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published August 05, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated August 04, 2020 at 10:07 pm)

Kane pays tribute to All Blacks great Haden

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon