Colin Meads
All Blacks great Colin Meads on the Rugby World Cup

Colin Meads: Jock Hobbs deserves credit for Rugby World Cup

Jock Hobbs worked frantically on the Rugby World Cup being in New Zealand for a long time before the IRB  gave the tournament to us. Photo / Getty Images
Jock Hobbs worked frantically on the Rugby World Cup being in New Zealand for a long time before the IRB gave the tournament to us. Photo / Getty Images

One of the great things this week was attending the IRB awards, and sitting with Jock Hobbs.

He received an IRB award for services to rugby. But if any guy ever deserved all the credit for the World Cup being in New Zealand it was Jock. He worked frantically on that for a long time before the IRB came forward and gave the tournament to New Zealand. Without Jock we would never have got that World Cup.

It was great to see the All Blacks win the World Cup final, but all the talk of a big All Black win before the match certainly had an impact.

You know, no matter what you say, when people tell you you're going to win by 20 or 30 points it becomes a psychological thing. You can't get it out of your mind.

During the game I was lucky to sit with Fred Allen. Late in the match he was sitting and saying, "I think we're going to bloody lose this". And I was like "oh no, we'll be right" - and the wife was looking at the clock on the stand and relaying to us, "there's only five minutes to go, there's only four minutes to go".

Just like the whole country.

For me that last lineout, Brad Thorn won it, I thought that was the greatest lineout he's ever won, and we could kick it out and we'd won.

It's a victory that will do great things for New Zealand rugby. There will be a lot more kids playing the game now. To me that's one of the big things.

When you look back to the start of the tournament, everyone was talking about the stadium of four million - and I think it was.

I've been all over the country during the past six weeks, and everywhere you went the public were totally into it, and it's great for rugby and great for our future in the game.

These guys are heroes, and it would have been disappointing if France had won, because they didn't deserve to based on their performances earlier in the tournament.

It was great to see the reception the players got throughout the whole country.

I've stayed pretty well clear of the All Blacks since they won the final. I did see Graham Henry briefly at the awards and said "I want to apologise to you, I wasn't one that thought you should have had it four years ago and you've proved us all wrong".

He was like "you don't have to say that", but I want to say it publicly, he's proved all the doubters wrong.

Israel Dagg didn't have a great game at the finish but he was the All Blacks backline star.

He's a wonderful player for the future, and coming back from injury before the World Cup, he was just fantastic. He and Thorn would be my players of the tournament.

I didn't think Brad was playing as well this year as he had in the past but once they got into the nitty-gritty of the Cup he was the powerhouse in the scrum, and he's going to be hard to replace.

The big decision for the rugby union now is picking the next coach. Obviously Steve Hansen will have the job, probably on a two-year contract. But the question is who goes with him? And who will the NZRU accept?

There's a lot of names being thrown around. The two-year tenure is good if they do well, not so good if they don't. In that case the new ones will only have two years to get it right. Who goes with Hansen is the key to this whole thing.

We're being told by the experts that neither Robbie Deans nor Warren Gatland are applying.

Gatland would have been a top candidate and would be well in the running. I'd like to see a new young coach, like Jamie Joseph or Dave Rennie, in the mix.

- NZ Herald

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