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Wingers need to be able to finish off the backline movements which have been created inside them and although Southland are not known for producing great wingers, many skilled players have been on the wing and the contribution they have given has been oustanding.
one who played for Southland pre-war was Alex Sutherland who captained the successful 1946 team and gained higher honours with South Island. There is no doubt that Sutherland's rugby career was interrupted with the outbreak of world war II. Joining him on the wing in 1946 was Alan Chandler. He played from 1946 to 1948 and in one game scored four tries for Southland.
The retirement of Sutherland saw Edendale player Stuart McDonald make his mark in local rugby. He was a solid player, with a good turn of speed who was very sound on defence. He played every season from 1947-53 and scored 11 tries during his career.
One of the most interesting players of immediate post war was Peter Inder who although only play 16 games for Southland in 1950 he captained them to a victory over the British Lions.
Ray Harper was a winger that could play most mid field positions but played most of his games on the wing.
A product of the great Bluff era around the early 1950's was winger Ron Gilson. A real speed merchant he provided local fans with some brillant play on occasions and was regarded as unlucky to have missed All Black selection. He scored 26 tries in a five year career from 1952-57.
Jack Smith and Tuppy Diack were two players in the mid 1950s who were also prominent. Diack going on to greater heights in Otago.
A decade of service in the mid 1950semerged in the way of Ray Todd of Wyndham and Johnny Allison of Edendale. They were both products of the very strong Eastern club competition which was very successful in the Sports Trust Cup competition. Todd was known for his elusiveness rather than his speed and his great ability with a centering kick. Allison was more of a speed merchant. Todd set a record by scoring 39 tries during his career from 1955-61, while Allison scored 35 tries from 1956-65.
Russell Watt also played at wing or centre during the 1957 season.
Graham Townsend another Eastern player came to the fore with Todd's retirement. He became a permanent fixture with some good all-round play and like Allison he also scored 35 tries for the province. With his goal kicking ability Townsend was able to claim 211 points scored for Southland during his career.
Phil Savage of Bluff came into prominence in the mid-1960s for his determined play.
Murray Mitchell was a player who helped carry rugby into the modern era. He was first noticed in 1970 and quickly established himself as a three-quarter and although a centre intially he played on the wing in 1971 and had one of his best moments when he scored the winning try against Wellington at Athletic Park. He played through until 1976, with a few more appearances in the mid-field in 1979, and scored a total of 29 tries.
Evan McLellan emerged in 1974 and bought speed and determination to the wing and while he was in and out of the Southland team, there was not doubt at all that when on form he could be a very valuable player with great attacking skills. He scored 15 tries for Southland and it was unfortunate that a broken leg in 1978 saw his lengthy association with Southland rugby come to an end.
Ian Donaldson was able to take advantage of McLellan's misfortune, who although did not have great speed he did have the ability to beat a man. His winning tries against Australia and Counties in 1978 provided some great moments for Southland rugby. He played for South Island in 1979.
In 1980's a lot of wingers came and went without any really stamping authority on the position. They are: Garry Bennetts, Stephen Price, Kelvin Farrington, Alan Monaghan, Jimmy Cormack, Bruce Pascoe and Roger Kilpatrick. Of these Monaghan has been the most successful try scorer with 24 tries for Southland, including four tries in a game, twice.
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