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Huge drawcard for rugby fans

Sir Brian Lochore signing one of the three photographs taken by renowned photographer Peter Bush which will be up for auction at a rugby dinner. PHOTO/FILE

A dinner to raise funds for the region’s multi-sports stadium and Pukaha Mount Bruce wildlife centre will feature two items to treasure at an auction.

One is a referee’s jersey from the first World Cup — the first time such a jersey will be available in the Southern Hemisphere.

Given the fact that there was a small group of referees selected to officiate at this tournament this item will certainly attract a lot of attention.

The second is from a unique Lions vs the Rest of the World game played at Cardiff Arms in 1986 to recognise the centennial of the International Rugby Football Union.

Wairarapa’s own Sir Brian Lochore coached the Rest of the World side and former Masterton mayor and top-ranked New Zealand rugby referee Bob Francis had the whistle

Other auction items of note include a rugby ball that belonged to former All Black Dave Loveridge, who played halfback against the Lions in 1983.

During that tour, Loveridge got a ball signed by both teams before donating it to Colin “Barney” Haw’s rugby museum in New Plymouth.

Haw then donated it to the Carterton Rugby Football Club to be used in a fund-raising capacity.

The ball is signed by the whole 1983 All Black team including Kieran Crowley, Robbie Deans, Stu Wilson, Bernie Fraser, Wayne Smith, David Kirk, Murray Mexted and Jock Hobbs, while the Lions team features names such as Clive Woodward, Trevor Ringland, John Rutherford, Steve Smith and Ciaran Fitzgerald.

Also up for grabs will be three photographs by renowned New Zealand photojournalist Peter Bush taken at Memorial Park in Masterton during the 1971 Lions vs Wairarapa Bush game.

All photos have been signed by both Bush and Sir Brian, who will be one of three guest speakers at the dinner being held at Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park and cleverly being billed as “Rugby Yarns with the Lion, the All Black and the Ref”.

Joining him on stage will be former Lions loose forward John Jeffrey and French rugby referee Romain Poite, the latter being in New Zealand to control two matches during the 2017 Lions series, the first against the Hurricanes and the second the third test against the All Blacks.

Wairarapa Multi Sports Stadium Trust operations manager Matthew Sherry expects the dinner will be a big drawcard for rugby fans in the region following the DHL New Zealand Lions Series.

He said the $100 ticketed dinner included a welcome drink, canapes, two course meal, a charity auction of rare rugby memorabilia and cash bar.

All monies raised from the evening will be split evenly between the Wairarapa Multi Sports Stadium Trust and Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre.

Tickets for Rugby Yarns with The Lion, The All Black and The Ref are available by emailing [email protected].

The evening gets underway at 6pm on June 28.

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