MacRae back on old stomping ground


Current New Zealand Rugby Union chairman, and former All Black great, Ian MacRae returned today to his old stomping ground of Greymouth.
MacRae played all his 45 All Black games as a representative of Hawke’s Bay but it was with Greymouth’s Marist club that he first made his name outside South Island representative Neil McAra.
Their Marist team won the 1961 championship, and many in that team helped West Coast lift the Seddon Shield off Marlborough later that year.
“We had a very good side back then Roly Keehan, Alan Goodall, Neil McAra, Cliff Hibbs, Alan Lindbom, John Eathorne just to name a few. There is immense pride and passion attached to the shield.”
In all, MacRae played 10 games for West Coast before shifting to Napier and becoming the rock in the midfield of the Hawke’s Bay team playing 85 first class games for the Magpies between 1963 and 1971.
In 2011 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours for his 50 years’ service to rugby.
MacRae was to meet with his old Marist clubmates tonight and was hoping to also catch up with some at tomorrow’s game.
“While on the West Coast a sideline I will be catching up with old members of the Marist Club but I have certainly got very fond memories of the West Coast.”