Chritian Cullen, capped 54 times and the fourth highest try scorer in international rugby has been told to ‘front up’ and play club rugby this weekend after he failed to do so last weekend.
Cullen failed to turn out for his Northern United club in Wellington and All Black assistant coach is said to be not best pleased with the Hurricanes full-back who was chopped from the squad for the games against Ireland.
A further measure of how serious people in New Zealand take their rugby or more pertinently the rugby World Cup can gleaned from a story told in Keith Quinn’s book – Outrageous Rugby Moments. It seems that in 1987 shortly after the All Blacks had won the first cup tournament, the Webb Ellis Cup was taken from Auckland back to the union’s headquarters in Wellington. There the trophy was splendidly mounted behind glass and displayed in the Union’s boardroom.
Shortly after, a burglary occurred at those same offices. The intruders took several items including all the booze which was also securely locked behind glass in the same room as the Webb Ellis Cup. – But they never touched the World Cup.