Andy Haden, a man amongst men!
Of all my rugby contemporaries Andy Haden was the one I admired and respected most. He was bold enough to question and challenge authority for the betterment of the game and he always backed it up with an intellectual, objective, logical and often lateral perspective. In many respects Andy was the catalyst who changed the image of rugby players in the minds of the great unwashed.
I learned a lot from Andy, on and off the field. He addressed lineouts not just as a brutal contest, but also an artform: out-manoeuvring and out-thinking his opponent. This was something I loved to do, and Andy led the way. It sorted out the skilful thinkers and exposed the rest.
When we toured together I thought of myself as his apprentice – a role I enjoyed as I soaked up the opportunity to seek better ways to achieve better results. Andy has been a leader of men who was always result orientated. He was, in my view, one of New Zealand’s greatest ambassadors. I will never forget.
NB. Andy was the position specific coach for the lock position at the inaugural IRANZ High Performance course almost 20 years ago.