After a seemingly endless period of political one-upmanship and jockeying for position, Australia and New Zealand have finally arrived at a sensible compromise for Super Rugby 2021.
A member of the Wallabies’ “Magnificent Seven”, Barry McDonald, has died, aged 79.
McDonald played two Tests for Australia in 1969 and 1970 but he earned a Medal of Freedom from former South African President Nelson Mandela for his stance against apartheid.
The former flanker is remembered for his decision to boycott the 1971 tour by an all-white South African squad alongside six of his Wallabies teammates in protest against the country’s apartheid regime.
McDonald and his teammates faced fierce social and political backlash, however a groundswell of support helped force a decision from incoming Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to suspend all sporting contact with South Africa followed by trade sanctions.
The “Rugby Seven” as they had become known, would later be hailed as the “Magnificent Seven” after it was recognised that a direct line could be traced from their actions to the referendum that marked the end of apartheid in 1994.