When the 1987 All Blacks won the first Rugby World Cup, they never realised how their legend would grow. We catch up with the players.

1. Andy Earl: 1986-1992 (14 tests)

Nicknamed "Worzel" because of an alleged lack of hair grooming, Earl's only appearance at RWC 1987 was as a No 8 against Argentina.

One of the few players to play against every rugby union in New Zealand, Earl, who made his provincial rugby debut at 17, lives in Canterbury and works as a truck driver.


2. John Kirwan: 1984-94 (63 tests)
The giant winger of the era, who as a youngster learned to sidestep by running through pine forests at full speed.

Kirwan must have thought he was back in the woods when he scored one of the great All Black tries against a not-so-great Italy whom he would later coach.

He now commutes between his home in Italy and his job as coach of the Japanese national side but is seen regularly on New Zealand television as a frontman for depression.org.nz.

3. Albert Anderson: 1983-88 (6 tests)
Was one of the faces of the Steinlager "Stand by Me" advertisements that promoted the All Blacks 1987 campaign.

These days Anderson farms in his hometown of Southbridge.

4. Gary Whetton: 1981-91 (58 tests)
Athletic and surprisingly fast for a lock, Whetton replaced Shelford as captain and led the All Blacks in their hapless RWC 1991 campaign.

Now an insurance and financial adviser in Auckland, Whetton is also a board member with the ARU and Blues franchise.

5. Murray Pierce: 1984-90 (26 tests)
Wellington lock Murray Pierce said he had "good luck underpants" he wore after making the All Blacks.

"They were washed after every game, but they'd still get a bit tatty after a couple of seasons," he said.

Lives in Waikanae and works in the financial services industry. Leads overseas All Black supporters tours for Williment Travel Group.

6. Alan Whetton: 1984-91 (35 tests)
Had the honour of playing with twin brother Gary in the final of a World Cup.

Had a coaching stint in Japan but has been back in Auckland for years working as a rugby television commentator and breakfast radio host.

7. Zinzan Brooke: 1987-97 (tests 58)
Sported a fantastic mullet haircut and scored a try in the 46-15 win against Argentina but Brooke's services were not required again until he led the team in an inebriated and victorious dressing room haka after the final.

After ending his rugby career in England, Brooke developed a property development business in the UK where he still lives.

Brooke will be in New Zealand at RWC 2011 as part of Visa credit cards promotions team.

8. Wayne Shelford: 1985-90 (22 tests)
Probably couldn't believe his luck when he knocked out Welsh lock Huw Richards and watched him get sent off in the 1987 RWC semifinal when he came to.

Took over from Kirk as captain in 1988. Still shades Tana Umaga as the best All Black haka leader and looks great after losing 20kg with Jenny Craig.

Will be a big part of Maori Television's RWC 2011 coverage.

9. Joe Stanley:1986-91 (27 tests)
A solid centre, who seemed a lot bigger than his playing weight of 83kg and was nearly 30 when he debuted for the All Blacks, played in every test at RWC 1987.

Always looked like he had a bad cold and not known for long media interviews, now runs a corporate hospitality business with former NZ netball star Julie Coney in Auckland.

10. John Drake: 1985-87 (8 tests)
Died December 13, 2008 in Mt Maunganui, aged 49.

Was on top of his game but after just eight tests and a World Cup victory the tighthead prop drew the curtains on his brief All Black rugby career.

While maintaining his various business interests, Drake became a specialist scrummaging adviser, a columnist for the Herald and a fair and respected comments man for Sky Television.

11. John Gallagher: 1986-89 (18 tests)
Went to league in 1990 when defections were common.

British press lauded him as the world's best player in 1989 but just a few years later his career was over.

Gallagher is now head teacher at Colfe's Preparatory School in southeast London.

12. Michael Jones: 1987-98 (55 tests)
Missed the All Blacks 49-6 thrashing of Wales because his religious convictions meant no play on Sundays.

But the rest of RWC 1987 showcased the instinct, speed, timing and freakish ability on both defence and attack that made Jones arguably the prototype for all loose forwards since.

Had a statue unveiled in his glory yesterday. The former Manu Samoa coach has involvement in education and various business interests including Pure Pasifika which is involved in shipping, commercial fishing and horticulture in the Pacific.

13. Richard Loe: 1986-95 (49 tests)
Played against Italy and Argentina at RWC 1987 and was known to crack a smile after scoring tries which was unusual for All Blacks - especially forwards from Canterbury or Waikato.

Still lives in Canterbury and is a newspaper columnist and sport radio host.

14. Bernie McCahill: 1987-91 (10 tests)
Once a rugby commentator for Sky TV, McCahill left the family drainlaying business in 2006 to focus on residential and commercial property.

He now owns a half share in the 52 Jim's Mowing franchises in Auckland.

15. Kieran Crowley: 1983-91 (19 tests)
The Taranaki fullback and farmer got a start against Argentina but was a distant shadow to Gallagher.

Crowley, who now lives in British Colombia, will return to New Zealand as coach of the Canadian team.

16. David Kirk: (1987 Rugby World Cup captain): 1983-87 (17 tests)
Kirk had a short rugby career, giving it away at the end of the 1987 season.

Now an Australian citizen and living in Sydney after a prominent career in business there, Kirk maintains his local rugby ties as president of the Players' Association in New Zealand.

17. Grant Fox: 1984-93 (46 tests)
Metronomic and accurate, kicked goals from all over the park but Fox, who scored 126 points in the inaugural tournament, could never be accused of having too much flair.

Nowadays he is the managing director of Carnegie Sports International and does rugby analysis for Sky Sport.

18. Warwick Taylor: 1983-88 (24 tests)
The second five-eighth went back to work as a PE teacher at Burnside High School in Christchurch at the end of the tournament.

Still at Burnside, Taylor also provides radio comments for Crusaders and Canterbury games with Brian Ashby. His son Tom plays for Canterbury in the ITM Cup.

19. Mark Brooke-Cowden: 1986-87 (3 tests)
Had it tough in an excellent Auckland team of the mid to late 80s with players like Jones, Brooke and Alan Whetton around and went to UK league.

Now lives in Pukekohe with his wife and children where he works as a financial adviser.

20. Bruce Deans: 1987-89 (10 tests)
Brother to Wallaby coach Robbie, Deans was ready for action at RWC 1987 but didn't get any. Became the No 1 All Black halfback the following year.

Works on the family farm at Kilmarnock Station, in North Canterbury.

21. Craig Green: 1983-87 (20 tests)
Scored a heap of tries on the left wing for a dominant 1980s Canterbury side but couldn't quite do the same in the black jersey if you don't count the four he bagged against Fiji.

Packed his bags soon after RWC 1987 and went to Italy where he played for Treviso, whom he later coached.

Also coached schoolboy rugby in Brisbane but has recently moved back to Italy and is running their development programme.

22. Sir Brian Lochore: coach
Was instrumental in winning back the public's backing of the national side after the Cavaliers tour to South Africa in 1986 split loyalties.

RWC 1995 campaign manager and an All Black selector from 2004 to 2007, Sir Brian is in demand these days as a public speaker.

23. Sean Fitzpatrick: 1986-97 (92 tests)
With Dalton injured Fitzpatrick had his chance as the starting hooker.

He owned the position for more than a decade.

Now living in the UK, Fitzpatrick is a respected rugby commentator and go-to man for the media.

24. Steve McDowall: 1985-92 (46 tests)
Part of a formidable Auckland front row, the former judoka had his name misspelt as McDowell for at least 20 years but never made a fuss of it.

McDowall will make an appearance at RWC 2011 as the Romanian forwards coach.

25. Andy Dalton (captain): 1977-85 (35 tests)
A hamstring injury meant the tracksuit never came off but Dalton did have the honour of holding the World Cup aloft with David Kirk at the conclusion of the tournament.

Went back to farming in South Auckland before he became president of the New Zealand Rugby Union in 1991.

Has been the chief executive of Auckland Rugby Union since 2005.

26. Frano Botica: 1986-89 (7 tests)
Was a lot of things that the incumbent Fox wasn't: exciting, an elusive runner and a sound tackler.

Unlucky to be benched through the tournament particularly when the All Blacks played minnows, Botica went to league in 1990.

A technical adviser for the King Country Rams and still has involvement with Westlake Boys' High School rugby.

27. Terry Wright: 1986-92 (30 tests)
At a playing weight of 79kg, Wright really did play in an era where rugby was a game for all sizes.

Has lived outside of New Zealand for years, mainly in Hong Kong and Singapore while his wife Lindsay continues her prominent career in business development and strategy.