Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Rugby: McIntosh after score that'll keep him his job this time

Willie Le Roux of the Springboks celebrates scoring a try. Photo / Getty Images
Willie Le Roux of the Springboks celebrates scoring a try. Photo / Getty Images

Ian McIntosh coached the Springboks who were the last test side to walk off Eden Park undefeated after All Black combat.

They weren't victorious either, after the 18-all stalemate in 1994 ended a series loss to the All Blacks which sent McIntosh into the ranks of the unemployed.

"I got the DCM [don't come Monday] that night," he recalled.

South African boss Louis Luyt told several reporters McIntosh was done although he did not tell McIntosh, who discovered his fate several weeks later after a board meeting.

McIntosh is in New Zealand again for today's square-up at Eden Park. He might have got the coaching dropkick but he has been a national selector for the last decade and hopes to continue until the next World Cup.

"My love for the game is still huge," he said after a luncheon with former All Black wing Bryan Williams. "I've come to a stage in life where rugby is my life.

It never started out that way, but it's just great now."

McIntosh recalled how tough it was when he brought the Boks to New Zealand for the first time in 13 years after the tumultuous tour in 1981.

"It was a tough ending to a tough trip," he said.

"That Shane Howarth kicked six penalties to keep us out. I coached him afterwards at Newport in Wales and the cheeky beggar used to pull his shorts down and show me a South African emblem he had tattooed on his backside after that test.

"I made a lot of friends in New Zealand and every time I come back, it's just wonderful. This test will be some occasion, it'll be huge and obviously I can't give you what we think will happen. However, it should be another day we'll all remember in the history of great tests between our two countries."

- NZ Herald

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