Former All Black loose forward Alan Sutherland has died in South Africa after a short battle with cancer. He was 76.
Sutherland played 64 games for the All
Blacks, including ten tests between 1968 and 1973, and was part of three
controversial All Black touring sides.
He was also member of the history-making Marlborough Ranfurly Shield winning side of 1973.
He toured South Africa twice, in 1970 and 1976 and after the second tour stayed on to farm there and breed race horses.
In 2013 returned to Blenheim for the 125th anniversary of the Marlborough Rugby Union.
At the time he spoke to
the Marlborough Express saying his first role was as “a professional
rugby player – probably the first of all time”.
“I started off in
Rhodesia as a player-coach for a season and then I went down to Witts
[Witwatersrand] University as player-coach of the whole university I
suppose. Nowadays I would be called director of rugby.”
He kept playing rugby
until he was 36 then “closed the door and never went back….these big
Afrikaaner guys were knocking the living hell out of me. Plus the
injuries. You name it, I had it.”
He bought a farm in the Natal midlands.
“I bought an existing stud,” he told the paper “and would like to think I built it up.”
He spent 30 years doing that before selling off most of it in 2012.
Sutherland said he contemplated returning to New Zealand at times.