1980 New Zealand rugby union tour of North America and Wales

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1980 New Zealand tour in North America
Type P W D L
Total: 7 7 0 0
Test match: 3[1] 0 0 0
Opp. P W D L
 United States[2] 1 1 0 0
 Canada[3] 1 1 0 0
 Wales 1 1 0 0
Statistics against Test match opponents

The 1980 New Zealand tour of Wales was a collection of friendly rugby union games undertaken by the New Zealand All Blacks against Wales that also took in two international games in North America en route to South Wales. This was a single test tour against each of the countries played, with four games against Welsh club opposition.

Although the games were played within a tight schedule, the All Blacks were victorious in all seven matches. New Zealand scored 32 tries for and only conceding 2 against, for a total points tally of 197 to 41 over the entire tour.


Date Opponent Location Result Score
Match 1 8 October USA San Diego Stadium, San Diego Won 6–53
Match 2 11 October Canada Swangard Stadium, Burnaby Won 10–43
Match 3 18 October Cardiff Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff Won 9–16
Match 4 21 October Llanelli Stradey Park, Llanelli Won 10–16
Match 5 25 October Swansea St Helens, Swansea Won 0–32
Match 6 28 October Newport Rodney Parade, Newport Won 3–14
Match 7 1 November Wales Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff Won 3–23

Touring party[edit]

  • Manager: R.A. Harper
  • Assistant Manager: E.A. Watson
  • Captain: Graham Mourie (Taranaki)






The matches[edit]


8 October
United States  6–53  New Zealand
Pen: Cooke (2) Try: Woodman (3)
Osborne (2)
Con: Codlin (6)
Pen: Codlin (3)
San Diego Stadium
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: I Nixon United States (United States)


11 October
Canada  10–43  New Zealand
Try: Bibby
Pen:Schiefler (2)
Try: Shaw (3)
Con: Rollerson (4)
Pen: Rollerson
Swangard Stadium
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: C Thomas Wales (Wales)

Cardiff RFC[edit]

18 October
Cardiff RFC 9–16  New Zealand
Pen:Davies (2)
Try: Fraser
Con: Codlin
Pen: Codlin
Cardiff Arms Park
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: F Palmade France (France)

Llanelli RFC[edit]

21 October
Llanelli RFC 10–16  New Zealand
Try Jones
Drop: Gravelle
Try: Rollerson
Con: Rollerson
Pen: Rollerson
Stradey Park
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: A.M. Hosie Scotland (Scotland)

Like the game played three days earlier against Cardiff, Llanelli proved tough opposition for the touring New Zealand side. Of the seven games played during the tour this was the closest in score, with only a six-point margin and at half time Llanelli were actually 10–3 ahead.

This match is often remembered for a controversial refereeing decision by Scottish referee Allan Hosie. Towards the end of the game, with the match still in the balance, Hosie appeared to send off the All Black lock, Graeme Higginson, only for a group of Llanelli players, led by Phil Bennett to challenge the referee over the action. Higginson was allowed to stay on the field with Hosie stating later that there was no sending off, and he had only giving Higginson a warning.

Swansea RFC[edit]

25 October
Swansea RFC 0–32  New Zealand
Try: Higginson
Wilson (2)
Con: Rollerson
Pen: Rollerson (2)
St Helens
Attendance: 28,000
Referee: J.R. West Ireland (Ireland)

Newport RFC[edit]

28 October
Newport RFC Newport, Wales 3–14  New Zealand
Pen: Bolland Try: Shaw
Pen: Coldin (2)
Rodney Parade
Attendance: unknown
Referee: A Welsby England (England)


1 November
Wales  3–23  New Zealand
Pen: Fenwick Try: Mourie
Con: Rollerson (2)
Pen: Rollerson
Cardiff Arms Park
Attendance: 55,000
Referee: J.R. West Ireland (Ireland)

The All Blacks returned to the Cardiff Arms Park in the final game of the tour and quickly showed a dominance of the game that would continue until the final whistle. The fact that roughly 85% of the match was played in the Welsh half of the field correlates with the final score and the four tries from New Zealand that were without a Welsh reply. The defeat would have been far heavier, but Rollerson managed to convert only three of nine attempts at goal.

From this match only three Welsh players emerged with any credit. Full back J.P.R. Williams, scrum half Terry Holmes and on the wing 19-year-old Robert Ackerman, whose excellent covering play of Stu Wilson earned him a standing ovation when he left the field with an injury before the final whistle.[4]


  1. ^ for two of them New Zealand did not award full international caps
  2. ^ New Zealand did not award full international caps
  3. ^ New Zealand did not award full international caps
  4. ^ Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1981–82 Vivian Jenkins (1982) pg 42 ISBN 0-907574-05-X

Jenkins, Vivian (1982). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1981–82. Rothmans Publications Ltd. ISBN 0-907574-05-X.