Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Beaver fever to hit small screen

Stephen Donald is the subject of a new TV film that immortalises the All Blacks' World Cup campaign. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times
Stephen Donald is the subject of a new TV film that immortalises the All Blacks' World Cup campaign. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

Stephen Donald's Rugby World Cup-winning heroics will be immortalised in a new television film about his journey from whitebaiter to world beater.

Donald was plucked from a fishing trip to kick the winning penalty goal for the All Blacks in their heart-stopping 8-7 final victory over the French on October 23, 2011.

The project - awaiting funding from New Zealand On Air- is understood to include veteran playwright and cartoonist Tom Scott.

Crucially, it has the blessing of the New Zealand Rugby Union.

NZRU spokesman Nick Brown said: "We've already given our support in principle for this work as it focuses on a good story within the story of the All Blacks' victorious Rugby World Cup 2011 campaign.

"We think the Stephen Donald story would be popular among many New Zealanders as it captures an incredible moment in New Zealand and rugby history."

Beaver, as he is affectionately known, has been plying his trade for English club Bath since the World Cup. He was the fourth-choice first five going into the tournament, but was called after injuries struck down Dan Carter, Colin Slade and Aaron Cruden.

Donald took the field in a jersey several sizes too small for him, and calmly slotted a penalty goal in the 45th minute.

The film will be produced by Great Southern Film & Television and is likely to screen on TVNZ next year.

What's your view?

Go to the Herald on Sunday Facebook page to vote for who should play Donald.

- Herald on Sunday

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