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'Old' and 'Young' Vic Cavanagh


Father and son: Respected Otago rugby coaches 'Old' and 'Young' Vic Cavanagh. The forward-orientated ‘Southern style’ associated with the Cavanaghs made Otago a force in New Zealand rugby. Rucking became a defining feature of the New Zealand game largely through their influence.

Many rugby enthusiasts believe that 'Young' Vic Cavanagh was the best New Zealand coach never to have coached the All Blacks. Many believe that he should have coached the 1949 All Black team in South Africa, especially as this included 11 Otago players. Others thought he was only interested in ‘his’ players. He may have felt that he 'dodged a bullet', as the All Blacks were humiliated 4-0 in the test series.


New Zealand Rugby Museum
Reference: 99/168/5
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'Old' and 'Young' Vic Cavanagh, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated