Orcades Crawford

Veteran prop Orcades Crawford was still playing club rugby in Hawke’s Bay in 2006, aged 40. Crawford had played well over 100 first class games for Hawke’s Bay and latterly the Central Vikings, when he was called into the Hurricanes in 1998.

Initially a backup in the squad, Crawford saw game time in six of the last seven games and started the last three matches at loosehead prop after captain Mark Allen suffered a career ending neck injury against the Brumbies in round eight.

A mobile front rower, Crawford scored two tries for the Central Vikings against South Canterbury in their first ever NPC match in 1997. With the disintegration of the Vikings he returned to Hawke’s Bay in 1999, before shifting north in 2000 to his home province East Coast a year after they had won the NPC Third Division. With Crawford on board East Coast won the Third Division title again in 2000 and accepted promotion to the Second Division for 2001. The fairytale continued unabated in 2001 when tiny East Coast with a mammoth pack led by Crawford were carried all the way to the second division final against Hawke’s Bay, only losing 30-27 in the final.

Crawford was a former New Zealand Maori representative, playing two games for the Maori on tour to South Africa in 1994. Earlier in his career he represented New Zealand Secondary Schools in 1983-1984.

During his spell with East Coast, Crawford also became one of a select group of players to have played against all 27 New Zealand provincial unions.

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