100 Greatest All Blacks: Olo Brown

High calibre, low profile. That was Olo Brown and just the way he liked it. We were inquisitive and would have liked to find out a bit more about the way he ticked but Brown shunned publicity.

Even when he was summonsed to make his first appearance as a replacement at La Rochelle on the 1990 tour to France, he shunned us with an excuse about promising an interview to a radio reporter back home.

Brown had to wait for his next All Black chance as Richard Loe and Graham Purvis blocked his way.

Once Laurie Mains brought Brown into the test lineup against Ireland in 1992 at tighthead prop, there was no shifting him. He was rock solid in his work that year on tours to Australia and South Africa and then the following season when the Lions visited.
Both Mains then John Hart when he took over, knew they had gold in the No 3 jersey.

The chartered accountant brought a guaranteed edge to his play and with hooker Sean Fitzpatrick, the All Blacks were always confident they could manipulate that right side of the scrum.

Brown became the first All Black prop to reach 50 tests but not long after that milestone, he disappeared because of some cumulative damage to his neck and back.

As quietly as he entered the All Black ranks, Brown made a similar exit. He never announced his departure but never played again after being injured towards the end of the Tri-Nations series in '98.

He has recovered enough to play golf these days and has been involved in a variety of business ventures including work for an outdoor advertising company.

Date of birth: 24 October 1967
Position: Tighthead prop
Matches: 69
Tests: 56
Test debut: 6 June 1992 v Ireland, Wellington
Last test: 15 August 1998 v South Africa, Durban
Province: Auckland
Test tries: 4
Test points: 20

- NZ Herald

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