Legend Sam Strahan passes
on Sunday, 22 December 2019. Posted in Turbos News
The Manawatu Rugby Union has lost of the greatest players to pull on the green and white jersey, Sam Strahan.
Strahan passed away on December 21, aged 74.
The Oroua legend was largely regarded as one of the finest locks to play for the province and went on to play 45 games, including 17 tests for the All Blacks, most alongside legendary late All Black Sir Colin Meads.
Manawatu Rugby Union chairman Tim Myers said it was a sad day for the union.
"We remember Sam as not just a great rugby player but as a true gentleman. Sam was one of New Zealand’s great custodians of our game. He was proud of the Manawatu and we were proud to have him. Sam was as kind as he was humble and he had time for everybody.
“He will be sorely missed.”
It took just three games of senior club rugby for Strahan to be selected for his Manawatu debut in 1965 and the very next season he debuted for the All Blacks.
According to Clive Akers' Manawatu Rugby, The First 100 Years, a report from the 1966 inter-island All Black trial included: "Strahan last Saturday gave one of the finest displays of high jumping and clean two-handed catching seen in New Zealand since the days of South Canterbury All Black Lachie Grant. Since Grant's day there have been some good All Black lineout experts like Tiny White, Bob Duff, Nev MacEwen and Stan Meads, but the form of this young man from Manawatu left the impression that he was better than any of these".
After retiring from playing rugby in the mid-70s, Strahan took up coaching and has remained an active member of the rugby community.
Born: December 25, 1944
Schools: Apiti School, Huntley Preparatory School and Whanganui Collegiate
Manawatu debut: August 14, 1965 v Hawke's Bay in Hastings
Manawatu No: 1016
Manawatu games: 70 (1965-70, 72-76)
All Blacks debut: August 19, 1967 v Australia in Wellington
All Black No: 657
All Blacks games: 45 (including 17 tests) (1967-68, 70, 72-72)