Every All Blacks World Cup-winning team has had a rock at centre.

Jack Goodhue continues a line that has a tradition of clear thinking and accurate execution, started by Joe Stanley in 1987, and carried on in 2011 and 2015 by Conrad Smith.

The three men have very different backstories, in both life and sport. Stanley was a city kid, born in Auckland to immigrant parents from Samoa.


The first national selector to pay any attention to him was Kiwis coach Ron Ackland.

In 1978, when Stanley was playing league in Northland, Ackland called him into a training camp