All Blacks and Highlanders winger Waisake Naholo confirmed last night he will be leaving New Zealand Rugby at the end of the year after signing with London Irish.

The powerful winger turned 28 yesterday. Why is that significant?

In 2017, the Herald's Liam Napier wrote about how a number of the greatest All Blacks outside backs began to trail away in their test careers around the age of 27.

What do Christian Cullen, Jeff Wilson, Joe Rokocoko and Jonah Lomu have in common?

The quartet, firmly among New Zealand's greatest outside backs, never featured for the All Blacks beyond the age of 27.

This fantastic four ranks third to sixth on the All Blacks' all-time try-scoring list, collectively amassing 173 from 249 tests. And, yet, unlike many modern forwards, none went close to kicking on into their 30s.

Numbers alone don't do their feats justice.


For many, Cullen is still regarded as the greatest fullback to play the game. He was certainly the most captivating with ball in hand.