by Chris Tobin
A new display has been placed in Timaru Boys’ High School’s gymnasium.
The All Blacks blazer of old boy Lachie Grant has been given to the school on long-term loan.
Lachie, or “Goldie” Grant, went to Clandeboye School and attended Timaru Boys’ High School as a boarder in 1937 and 1938 but never played for the first XV.
As a flanker or lock he debuted for South Canterbury aged 17 and turned out for the NZ Army “Kiwis” team in Britain, France and Germany while serving in World War 2.
Grant made the All Blacks in 1947 and went on to play four tests, two apiece against Australia and South Africa and a total of 19 matches.
“I found out researching his career that he also captained the All Blacks, which is not widely known,” chairman of the Timaru Boys’ High School Old Boys’ Association Don Garland said.
This was on the All Blacks’ 1951 tour of Australia.
Grant did not play a test on this tour but captained the team to wins over Brisbane and Central Western Districts.
In some of his All Black appearances Grant played with another Timaru Boys’ old boy, centre three-quarter Morrie Goddard, a Zingari club player in Timaru who, like Grant, was not in the first XV during his time at the school.
Goddard’s brother, Jock, a fullback for the Celtic club in Timaru, was also in the All Black team to South Africa
All three were members, Grant as captain, of the 1950 South Canterbury team, which lifted the Ranfurly Shield from Wairarapa, when the shield was far and away the premier domestic rugby trophy in the country.
This was also one of Grant’s finest games.
Reports said he dominated the second spell lineouts, kicked a penalty from near halfway and scored two tries, the last of them with just two minutes left to play, which secured the victory.
Grant, a stalwart of the Temuka club, died in Timaru in 2002.
Garland said Timaru Boys’ High had links to several other All Black captains.
Jack Manchester, a pupil from 1922 to 1926, led the All Blacks on the 1935 tour of Britain and France.
The grandfather of Richie McCaw, the double winning World Cup skipper, also attended the school.
Jim McCaw was a boarder from 1932 to 1936.
Manchester was in the First XV with Rex King, who captained the Kiwis to Britain in 1939 which played only one match before the tour was abandoned because of the outbreak of World War 2.
Garland said the old boys’ association had placed Grant’s blazer from the 1949 tour of South Africa in a glass case and added a plaque detailing his rugby career.
“It’s amazing the sporting talent South Canterbury produces. It’s a great nursery for New Zealand sport.”