Posted by Les Divers on Jan 29, 2019

Gary Braid was happily playing soccer at Otumoetai College when he succumbed to peer pressure and tried out for the First Fifteen. The rest is history, as the former All Black outlined to our first meeting of the year on Monday evening. Gary represented New Zealand in 1983 and his sons Luke and Daniel have kept the Braid name well recognised in rugby circles since.

Gary confessed he found the drudgery of training a relief at a time when he had three young children in the house. The motivation of playing for your mates and country was and remains as powerful as ever for our national side. There is no free ride and the All Black legacy imbues humbleness. He has enjoyed a wide and varied career since his playing days which includes coaching stints in Croatia and Slovenia, National Sales Manager for DB Breweries, property investing, software development and being a Publican.

Question time elicited the observation that rugby players in all European countries (except France) do not have the intuitive skills of players in countries such as New Zealand where the game is played from a young age and coaching therefore involves breaking the component parts of the game down and having to teach those skills.