Most clued in Irish rugby fans have heard the story of Dave Gallaher, the Irish-born New Zealander and the captain of the ‘Original All Blacks.’
Born in Ramelton in County Donegal in 1873, Dave Gallaher emigrated as a young boy with his family to New Zealand in search of a better life.
He honed his rugby skills there and was selected for the national team before captaining the first ever New Zealand squad to tour outside of Australasia, and the first squad to be given the nickname of the All Blacks.
The 1905-06 tour travelled to Europe and North America and faced off against the home nations, France, and a host of clubs and representative teams.
To commemorate the memory of Gallaher, in 2005 Letterkenny Rugby Club named their new pitches after the great man.
Although at the time, work on the pitches was not yet complete, the New Zealand rugby team touring Ireland at the time visited them to celebrate their ongoing development.
The team also visited Gallaher’s hometown of Ramelton and unveiled a plaque dedicated to Gallaher and 'The Originals' at the house where he was born.
Pictures of the late Jerry Collins and Tana Umaga in Donegal bring back a wave of nostalgia for that great New Zealand side, and despite Umaga being in the bad books of every Irish rugby fan, it was a great gesture from their captain.
Unsurprisingly Ireland suffered a heavy 45-7 loss when they faced off in the old Landsdowne Road 16 years ago.
Marcus Horan scored Ireland’s only try, in a team that featured the likes of Geordan Murphy, Anthony Horgan, Malcolm O’Kelly, and Johnny O’Connor.
The New Zealand side that day also represents a bygone era with players such as Leon McDonald, Ali Williams, and Aaron Mauger all lining out.