379. One Hundred and Forty-One

As we all know, Richie McCaw has now played 141 tests for the All Blacks.

Which got me thinking. Who was the 141st All Black?

99-262-002 (Edgar Wrigley)-2It was Edgar Wrigley, born in Masterton on 15 June 1886. While he trained as a plumber he also played for the Red Star Club and, with his brothers Harry and Tom, represented Wairarapa.

Wrigley played his one and only match for the All Blacks against Australia in Dunedin on 2 September 1905, scoring a try in the 14-3 win. (This was at the same time as “The Originals” were off touring the UK.)

His real claim to fame was that on that day he became  the youngest ever All Black test player at age 19 years and 79 days. He held that distinction right up to 1994 when a certain Jonah Lomu played against France aged just 19 years and 45 days.

While that was it for the All Blacks, Wrigley went on to a successful rugby league career, first with the so-called All Golds on 1907-08, returning to the UK to play for Huddersfield. He then became a successful coach of Hull and Bradford Northern.

He died in Huddersfield on 2 June 1958.

By the way, the All Black statisticians do not know where Edgar went to school. So if you’re a Masterton school who wants to add an All Black to your honours board, have a check of your records between say 1891 and 1900.

About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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