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Locals meet former All Black skipper ‘Buck’ Shelford

Saturday 9 July 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Locals meet former All Black skipper ‘Buck’ Shelford
All Black great Sir Wayne “Buck” Shelford KNZM MBE, Lieutenant Commander Mark Te Kani (right) and members of Mauke Cook Islands Games team. Photo: Melina Etches/22070804

All Black great Sir Wayne “Buck” Shelford KNZM MBE has conquered the rugby field and while holidaying in Rarotonga yesterday, he hit the Rarotonga Golf Club green with Lieutenant Commander Mark Te Kani.

A modest giant of a man, the former All Black hardman was happy to pose for photos with the Mauke Cook Islands Games team chefs Apii Urlich and Akaiti Purea who were gearing up for their Golf Ambrose fundraiser yesterday.

“It was meant to be, we (Mauke) are Paikea (an ancestor of Mauke who is believed to have reached Aotearoa), so he’s one of us,” said one of the delighted Mama’s.

Shelford has visited Rarotonga for the Sevens in Heaven international tournament some years back. This trip was delayed for two years due to Covid-19.

He joined the All Blacks in 1985 as a 27-year-old with a background in the Defence Force and 10 years of kapa haka behind him. Shelford is credited with revitalising the performance of and bringing back the “mana” to the All Blacks “Ka Mate” haka.

In 2021, he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to rugby and the community.

Shelford and his wife Jo have been on the island for a week and will return home to Aotearoa today.