Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Another one bites the dust, Newby the latest the retire injured

Craig Newby is the latest Tigers start to admit defeat and have to retire due to injury.  Newby never recovered from the knee injury that rules him out of most of last season, making his man of the match performances in last year's LV final and Premiership semi final all the more impressive.

Newby enjoyed a note worthy start to his Tigers career as he converted Brett Deacon's late try with a drop goal.  That was not the only kicking fame for the flanker though; later the same season in the Heineken Cup semi final penalty shoot out Newby coolly slotted over his kick, later revealing he was taught to kick by former housemate, and Gloucester fly half, Willie Walker.

Internationally Newby gained 3 caps for the All Blacks debuting against England at Eden Park in 2004, to become All Black number 1041, and finishing against Ireland in 2006 at the same venue.  His other appearance was in Johannesburg against the Springboks in 2004.  His route to the All Blacks was an unconventional one as he was one of the first players to progress from the 7s set up.  He was very successful at 7s winning a gold medal at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.

A keen cricketer Newby has regularly featured for the Kibworth Cricket Club and hit a century for a Leicester Tigers XI in a charity 20/20 match.

Newby captained his home province of Otago, the Super Rugby franchise the Highlanders and was also captain in the losing Premiership final against Saracens in 2011 for Leicester.  Hopefully these leadership skills and knowledge of the game can be retained, if not by Tigers then hopefully for another club.  Newby has said he wishes to remain in the area, this kind of commitment to the locality is sure to cement his reputation as a real club man in years to come and is a real example of the kind of top bloke he is.

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