All Blacks line up target man Hobbs
November 26, 2008
Hobbs strikes a more familiar pose behind a microphone in his role as NZRU Chairman © Getty Images
Jock Hobbs stepped back in time on a rugby training paddock today and ended up on his backside as a result.
The New Zealand Rugby Union chairman added a touch of levity to the All Blacks' training session, gamely acting as a virtual tackle bag as the test team went through its paces.
Hobbs, who played 21 tests and 18 matches for the All Blacks between 1983 and 1986, wore a padded suit to dull the impact but he still grimaced when being hit by Ali Williams, Rodney So'oialo and Hikawera Elliot.
The openside flanker, who captained the All Blacks for the fourth and final time in a test when France inflicted a painful 16-3 loss at Nantes in 1986, had a history of concussion issues but thankfully emerged from his role as target practice unscathed.
He showed no signs of distress later in the day when arriving at Tourism New Zealand's giant rugby ball at Tower Bridge for a function where the team met Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, Chiefs coach Ian Foster has also been sighted at training since the team arrived in London. Foster has been involved in the All Blacks environment after watching the test in Wales as part of a off-season break.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'