How a group of lawyers stopped the All Blacks from playing in apartheid South Africa
The flour bombs and pitch invasions of the 1981 Springbok tour saw hundreds of protestors arrested and brought before the courts. Four years later, it was the Rugby Union’s turn to face the rule of law, when a group of lawyers challenged a decision to send the All Blacks to apartheid South Africa. Edward Gay reports.
A crowd of hundreds braved the Wellington winter, to find out if a group of lawyers had managed to stop the All Blacks touring apartheid South Africa.
Sir Ted Thomas QC was still dressed in his court butterfly bow-tie when he walked out onto the High Court steps on July 13, 1985.
“The cheer was mighty,” says Thomas.
Against a backdrop of protests, civil unrest and political pressure, he and his colleagues had just succeeded in stopping the 1985 All Blacks tour of apartheid South Africa.