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In 1976 Otautau had only five players left from the 1975 season out of a squad of 29. The losses due to transfer or retirements were: Ken McRae and Jeff Gardiner, both Southland representatives. Wayne Manning, Bruce Hearsay, Fergus Collie, Neil Collie, who transferred to Limehills. Mike Huia - to Oxford, and John Thompson to New Plymouth.
The club had also been affected by a large amount of injuries. There were a few gains though in :
Ray Rowe - from Winton, Robert Blair and Russell Blair - promoted juniors, Owen Williams, a former U16 Southland representative, Ian Forsyth - from West Coast, Graham McBeth.
Dave Clark the Western representative captained the team from the locking position. Hugh Clark, Lawrence Barnes, Forsyth, Ross Thompson, Kenneth Smith, Stewart Baird and Russell Munro featured in the scrum.
Coach Norris James was not worried about the youth of the side and said the team had a lot of enthusiasm and committment.
Reference: Otautau Team Hit Hard. The Southland Times April 1976
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