So I went to a fundraising dinner last night with Mark Reason and Stephen Jones speaking.
Rattue was supposed to be speaking originally but replaced by reason at late notice.
Firstly I'll comment on Reason. Terrible public speaker, his whole speech was basically about how the 1971 game between Canterbury and the lions ruined what was a great game forever. Apparently Canterbury and New Zealand rugby teams have acted like arrogant thugs ever since. In the questions and answers after an old bloke who was mates with Alastair Hopkinson stood up and had a real go at him. Apparently hoppy after the field had 2 black eyes and a broken cheek bone and was furious at the lions tactics that day.
Secondly Stephen jones. Excellent speaker, talked about how much he enjoys lions tours, loves touring New Zealand and loves the passion we have for the game. Thinks the lions have become far too commercial and is certain we won't see another tour here in 12 years. Really worries about the game at grassroots level, and talked extensively about that.
Afterwards I had a good chat to both. Chatted with Stephen for several minutes about local club rugby and my passion for that. Also asked him about his writings that seem to annoy so many NZers. We had a good laugh about that.... He said its because he loves the game so much, and with the the amount of articles he writes there's always the potential to someone to disagree with him.
Best part of the conversation is that he told me to give him a wave in the press box tonight. He will come and say hello and let me watch the game in there with him if I want!
In summary .... Mark Reason confirmed piston wristed gibbon, Stephen Jones not a bad bloke