Families rapt as Izzy, Zac make it in All Blacks


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Deb Guildford and Huriana Dagg had to be the proudest mums in Hawke's Bay yesterday after sons Zac and Israel were named in the All Blacks World Cup squad.

"I rang Huriana, and she and I were buzzing all afternoon," said Mrs Guildford while awaiting a call from her son last night.

"We spoke about a 2007 Magpies game we attended when Zac and Izzy were playing together. Huriana had a placard which read 'Bring on the 2011 World Cup for Izzy and Zac' ... that was our dream for our boys and it's all come true," recalled Mrs Guildford, while having a celebration feed of fish and chips "and a few wines" with relations in Taradale.

She admitted she wasn't as relaxed earlier in the day while watching the team announcement on her work computer.

"My heart was beating so fast," Mrs Guildford said.

"They were going through the alphabet ... I heard Izzy's name and then I knew G wasn't far away. You can't explain how I felt when I heard his [Zac's] name ...

it's the ultimate."

Mrs Guildford said she hadn't had time to think about which games she would be attending.

"Work has been amazing throughout Zac's career ... I'm sure I will get to some. This is very exciting times for New Zealand. The boys can do the job and win gold."

Huriana Dagg said the family was gathered around the TV yesterday, waiting for the announcement.

"We're still over the moon - everyone's just so proud of him."

Mrs Dagg had booked her leave last year for the tournament to follow the All Blacks' games. She was hoping the selection would mean a couple of tickets to the final.

"All we said was if you make it all we want is tickets to the final. We're just so sure now that they are going to lift up that cup."

Dagg's 79-year-old grandfather and former Otago and Hawke's Bay representative Pat Dagg got a text from his grandson shortly after the team was announced.

It read, "I'm pretty chuffed Granddad ... Now I can't wait for some game time in the Cup".

Mr Dagg admitted he was worried Zac, Izzy's Cup inclusion thrills families

I will be there

in spirit.Pat Dagg, Israel's grandadabout his grandson's chances of making the World Cup until Sunday morning's clash against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth.

"Izzy hadn't had much game time before that game but you couldn't really fault his performance in that one. It's great for young Zac and him and Hawke's Bay ... we must not forget a lot of good footballers missed out."

A life member of Dagg's Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports club, Mr Dagg said the Havelock North club needed to be thanked for allowing Dagg to play in the Maddison Trophy final.

"Izzy could have been under-done had he not played in that final."

Asked if he would be attending any of the All Blacks' games, Mr Dagg replied: "I don't want to cramp Izzy's style ... but I will be there in spirit."

Dagg, 23, and Guildford, 22, are the first Magpies to be selected for an All Blacks World Cup team.Magpies co-coach Peter Russell was just as elated as members of the pair's immediate families.

"It's great news for Hawke's Bay," Russell said.

"Zac and Izzy are part of a new breed of All Blacks and they definitely missed Zac's gas against the Springboks on Sunday."

Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union chief executive Mike Bishop echoed Russell's comments and pointed out how hard the pair had worked to get the nod: "Izzy after his long injury spell and Zac after being dropped and shaking off a form slump."

Meanwhile Dagg and Guildford are tipped to be the first and second-best try scorers at the World Cup. Dagg is paying $4 at the Cup and Guildford $5.


- Hawkes Bay Today

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