Story: Rugby union

Waikato game stopped, 1981 (2nd of 2)

In 1981 the Springbok rugby team toured New Zealand, despite fierce opposition from many in the community who saw the team as representing South Africa’s apartheid regime. The second scheduled game was against Waikato at Rugby Park, Hamilton, on 25 July. A large group of protesters managed to storm onto the middle of the ground and prevent the game starting. As can be seen in this film, the rugby fans were furious and some even attacked the protesters. The tour proceeded, but under huge police protection and in the face of nationwide protest.

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How to cite this page:

Ron Palenski, 'Rugby union - International rugby – southern hemisphere', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2023)

Story by Ron Palenski, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Sep 2016