9 Feb 2010

Rugby honours Fred Allen's 90th

6:40 pm on 9 February 2010

The only unbeaten All Black coach, Fred Allen, is marking his 90th birthday today with a civic reception hosted by the Mayor of Auckland and attended by many rugby personalities.

Allen's players nick-named him "The Needle" when he coached Auckland, then the All Blacks during an unbeaten 14-Test run from 1966 till 1968.

The NZRU's Chairman Jock Hobbs says it's a record that would be hard to surpass and it's great that Allen's birthday is being recognised by so many people in Auckland.

Fred Allen is Patron of the Auckland Rugby Union, but first played for Canterbury and also for Marlborough and Waikato in 1944 before joining the "Kiwis" Army team which toured Europe after the Second World War.

He went on to captain the All Blacks , retiring after the 1949 Tour of South Africa and becoming Auckland's selector-coach from 1957 till 1963.