This visit was truly one of the high spots of my visit to New Zealand. I entered this place with mixed feelings as a Welshman, particularly after some of the hammerings we have taken from the Blacks in recent years. I needn't have worried as I was quickly drawn into the fascinating history of New Zealand rugby, from its early faltering steps under Charles Munro to its zenith today. What struck me was how ordinary many of the early pioneers were, as they came off their farms after early milking on Saturdays to play that afternoon, before returning somewhat worse for wear on the pony and traps which found their own way home. I was also very moved by the story of the the Originals, many of whom died later in the conflicts of Europe, and couldn't resist purchasing one of the last remaining replica shirts from Stephen Berg, the Museum's Director, reminding him of the disallowed Bob Deans try in 1905, one of the few times Wales won! This short review cannot do justice to this place, which offers any visitor hours of interest, and for the more mobile plenty of interactivities including have-a-go rugby tests. The work undertaken by Massey University on the growing trends in Rugby highlights the huge difference in size and shape between the Originals and todays modern day players. Extraordinary!
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