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Unique memento for 1987 World Cup finalists

New Zealand Rugby

Lynn McConnell     23 Jun 2017     New Zealand Rugby

The posts had stood as the target for goal-kickers for many years and had overseen many significant moments in New Zealand and world rugby.

Not the least of memorable occasions was the inaugural Rugby World Cup final in 1987.

When he learned the posts were to be replaced in the stadium rebuild former French international first five-eighths Franck Mesnel bought the posts and had them freighted to France.

Having received them he did some art work with the wood and made individual mementoes for every player and official who was associated with that 1987 final which was won by New Zealand 29-9.

The New Zealand team which won the inaugural cup are being feted in Auckland on the eve of the first Test against the British & Irish Lions on Saturday in celebration 30 years after the event.

Each member of the side will be presented with their keepsake from the final at the dinner.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read talked with the coach of the 1987 side Sir Brian Lochore, holding one of the mementoes, and one of the team members lock Gary Whetton during the captain's run at Eden Park on Friday afternoon.

Their advice for Saturday's big game was to enjoy the occasion for what it was, Read said.

Lochore captained the 1966 All Blacks to a 4-0 series clean sweep while Whetton was part of the 1983 team who also won a 4-0 clean sweep over the Lions.