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Buck would be popular ambassador, Key says

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, July 12 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key has acknowledged that former All Black captain Buck Shelford would be a popular replacement for Andy Haden as a Rugby World Cup ambassador.

"There would be plenty of people who would want to bring Buck in, we'll have to wait and see," Mr Key told reporters in Vietnam today.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira added his support for Shelford's appointment, saying he was one of Maoridom's greatest ever All Blacks.

"In fact, it's hard to believe that the Government hasn't even asked him, given the fact that in more than 100 years of rugby, Buck is the only undefeated captain the All Blacks have ever had," he said.

"And when you talk about the Maori brand, who is it the whole world thinks of when they think of the resurgence of the haka? None other than Buck Shelford himself."

However, Shelford himself appears to be less than keen to take on the role.

"I haven't thought about it and I'm not really interested in talking about it," he told The Dominion Post.

Shelford has been mentioned as a possible replacement since Haden resigned from the role at the weekend after being embroiled in a controversy over comments he made about rugby players and rape.

The minister in charge of the tournament, Murray McCully, had made it clear he did not believe Haden could continue in the position and had intended talking to him about it.

Haden sent in his resignation before that happened.

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