New Zealand Rugby has today paid tribute to Stan Young, who passed away on Friday in Wellington, age 90.
Young was a forward on the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) rugby team, popularly known as the 'Kiwis'.
Young's undoubted All Blacks ambition was curtailed after he suffered a back injury on the tour of the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany, 1945-46. Young played as loose forward/lock for the Kiwis, playing 19 games, including 4 internationals on tour, scoring 6 tries and impressing with his general play and pace.
The famous 1945-46 Kiwis were a team of battle hardened rugby players who not only played a great style of rugby, but lifted the morale of war torn Europe and raised significant money to aid war charities. The Kiwis team went on to produce 16 All Blacks including legends of the game Bob Scott, Fred Allen and Charlie Saxton.
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew today Young’s contribution to rugby, the army and New Zealand as part of the 2nd NZEF team was exceptional.
“The Kiwis side that toured after World War Two have an iconic place in New Zealand’s rugby heritage, producing a number of notable All Blacks and setting standards for entertaining rugby at a time when the world needed it most.
“Stan’s All Blacks future career was unfortunately curtailed by injury but his contribution to the game at the time had him up with some of the greatest players of the time.”