Rugby league legend made life member

TONY SMITH
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013

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West Coast rugby league legend George Menzies will be made a life member of the South Island Kiwis Association at its annual meeting in Christchurch tonight.

Menzies, a Runanga miner, was the Kiwis' standoff half and playmaker in the 1950s and early 1960s and was selected in the New Zealand Rugby League Team of the Century.

South Island Rugby League Kiwis Association (SIRLKA) secretary-manager Bill Whitehead said Menzies - vice-patron of SIRKLA - was unable to travel to Christchurch for health reasons but a special presentation will be made to him at Greymouth's Wingham Park on the opening day of the West Coast rugby league season. Whitehead said another life membership was to be conferred but details are embargoed.

Clayton Friend, a Kiwis scrumhalf from 1982 to 1991, will be made "an honorary South Island Kiwi". "He's working in Christchurch now in the [earthquake] rebuild," Whitehead said. Two long-serving rugby league officials, Rochelle McPherson and Carol Crozier, will also become honorary members.

McPherson has worked in the Canterbury Rugby Football League (CRFL) office for 21 years, while Crozier has been a stalwart of the sport since 1975 when her son began playing for Eastern Suburbs schoolboys. She served as club secretary, Canterbury junior board secretary and worked as the CRFL club liaison manager until retiring late last year.

Whitehead said the 1975 Canterbury team would be special guests of honour tonight.

They were "the only Canterbury team to beat Auckland in Auckland" in the Rugby League Cup era.

The Canterbury squad was: Jack Clarke, Gary Taie, Mocky Brereton, Leon Paskell, Lewis Hudson, Graeme Cooksley, Wally Wilson (capt), Stu Hogg, Dale Brown, Mark Fuller, Mark Broadhurst, Rex Dalzell, Mutu Stone. Reserves: Francis (Tiny) Lawrence, Alan Rushton. Coach: Gary Clarke.

Prop John Greengrass and centre Bruce Dickison were part of the Canterbury squad that year but were touring Britain with the Kiwis when Canterbury upset Auckland.

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- The Press

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