NZRFU injunction cartoon

NZRFU injunction cartoon

Public protests and calls for the 1985 All Black tour of South Africa to be cancelled fell on deaf ears at rugby union HQ. In May, Auckland lawyers and ‘grass roots rugby players’ Patrick Finnegan and Philip Recordon took the New Zealand Rugby Football Union to court. Arguing that it was in breach of its constitution, which promised to ‘promote, foster and develop the game’, they sought an injunction to stop the tour proceeding. This was not initially granted, but the plaintiffs were granted leave to test an aspect of their case in the High Court. On 13 July Justice Casey granted an interim injunction in favour of the plaintiffs. With the All Blacks due to leave within days, the NZRFU had no option but to cancel the tour.

The controversy stirred up memories and divisions formed during the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand. The sequel to the injunction was the 1986 Cavaliers rugby tour of South Africa.

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