Rugby’s Greatest: Don Clarke

first_imgHis haul of 207 Test points includes two goals from a mark, a scoring method long since outlawed, with one 65-yard effort toppling England in 1963.One of the few to achieve a ‘full house’ in a Test, Clarke was one of five brothers to play for Waikato. He was also a fine pace bowler, taking 117 first-class wickets for Northern Districts.Masterclass: Clarke in 1962, showing Aussie youngsters how to tee up the ball (Fairfax Media)Against the 1959 Lions he became the first All Black full-back to score a Test try – in New Zealand’s 98th Test – and in eight years he was never dropped, missing just two Tests through injury. All told, he lost just four times in 31 Internationals.Sir Wilson Whineray, Clarke’s captain in all but six of his Tests, said: “He was like a huge energy force behind you and could have a devastating effect on the opposition. He could kick them from his own ten-yard line, and we’d find opposition hookers were afraid to move, and that loose forwards would stay attached to scrums. He inhibited the whole opposition.” New Zealand have been spoilt with great full-backs, and Don Clarke was one of them TAGS: The Greatest Players Major teams: WaikatoCountry: New ZealandTest span: 1956-64Test caps: 31 (31 Starts)Test points: 207 (2T, 33C, 38P, 5DG, 2Gfm)Rugby’s Greatest: Don ClarkeHe wouldn’t have troubled Christian Cullen, one of his Kiwi successors, in a foot race but class come in different packages. And Don Clarke was class all right.At 6ft 3in and over 17st, Clarke was a huge man for his era, and his powerful frame provided an intimidating sight for opponents. But his forte was his kicking – whether from hand or toe-kicking off the ground – and it’s this facet of his game that edges him into our Top 10 at the expense of another great All Black, Bob Scott.Clarke scored 781 points in 89 games for New Zealand – a national record until surpassed by Grant Fox in 1988 – and a host of opponents had reason to curse his interventions.In 1959, the Lions scored four (three-point) tries to nil at Dunedin but lost controversially to six Clarke penalties. Whilst two years later in Wellington, he landed an extraordinary kick to beat France; in an 80mph gale, he aimed the ball along the 25-yard line from wide out and saw the wind take it through the posts. “It was the most unbelievable kick I’ve ever seen,” wrote the late Terry McLean. Phenomenal kicker: nicknamed ‘The Boot’, Don Clarke was a towering figure of rugby in the early 1960s Don Clarke emigrated to South Africa in the 1970s and set up a tree-felling business, before passing away in Johannesburg in 2002.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

UK government backs pension dashboard project

first_imgThe UK government has pledged to take the lead on developing a “pension dashboard” to allow individuals to see all of their savings through one portal.Speaking at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) conference in Manchester yesterday, Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, pledged that the Department for Work and Pensions would take forward work on the project “at pace”.“Be in absolutely no doubt: The dashboard will happen,” Opperman said.The project has been pushed forward by industry bodies so far, with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) leading work on a prototype. The ABI co-ordinated work between pension providers and technology firms to attempt to address data issues and other hurdles to displaying all an individual’s savings and pensions in one place.Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, said a dashboard was “vital to helping workers keep track of their pension savings as they move employment as well as helping them track down lost pension pots likely to be worth billions in total”. Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the PLSA, said: “The minister’s support of the pensions dashboard is great news for savers – who will be placed at the heart of the project. The dashboard could have a revolutionary effect on the way people engage with pensions, but it needs regulation and strong governance underpinning it. This is a job for government and we are pleased DWP has been tasked with leading the project.”center_img Guy Opperman MPThe Pensions Regulator also backed the project. Darren Ryder, director of automatic enrolment, said: “The work to date is also a clear demonstration of what industry can achieve when it works together and showcases the huge benefits the pensions industry could get from the application of such technology.”The People’s Pension, one of the UK’s leading defined contribution providers, has been a vocal supporter of the dashboard concept. Darren Philp, director of policy, described the government’s support as “an important milestone”. “While there are still significant challenges to overcome, this is a substantial step to help bring people closer to their pensions,” he added.last_img read more

Dundalk in Champions League action tonight

first_imgDamien Duff will join the Shamrock Rovers coaching staff for the rest of the season.The 37-year-old joins the first team as a coach and will assist interim manager Stephen Bradley.Duff made nine appearances for the club last year before retiring as a player. Meanwhile, Limerick sealed their place in the EA Sports cup final with a 1-0 win over Derry in the Brandywell last night.Stephen Kenny with the only goal as the first division leaders claimed a huge scalp.They’ll play Shamrock Rovers or St Pats in the final. In the SSE Airtricity league Premier Division St Pats overcame Wexford Youths 1-0 at Ferrycarraig Park.Ian Bermingham got the goal after 26 minutes.center_img The Lilywhites trail 1-0 going into the match in Tallaght stadium.The game can’t be hosted at Oriel Park as it does not meet the standard for this stage of the competition.Kick- is at 8pm.last_img read more