22 Apr 2009

Retrospective rugby caps for Maori 'too difficult'

12:25 pm on 22 April 2009

Former All Blacks and New Zealand Maori rugby captain Tane Norton says it would be too difficult to give retrospective All Black caps to Maori players barred from touring South Africa.

Three tours to South Africa in 1928, 1949 and 1960 excluded Maori players.

Now Massey University historian Malcolm Mulholland is campaigning for the New Zealand Rugby Union to right the wrongs of the past.

He says Maori players omitted from the tours to South Africa based on race should be given retrospective caps in acknowledgment of their unfair treatment.

However, Norton says he knows many Maori players who should have been All Blacks and trying to decide who receives the caps would be a nightmare.

He says the NZRU should acknowledge their part in the unjust treatment of Maori players, but giving retrospective caps would also be unfair.