Lawrence Gibb ‘Lawrie ‘ Knight

Squad No. 0840
Height 191
Weight 101
Season 1975, 1976, 1977
Position Loose Forward
Birthplace Auckland
Previous Clubs NGATAPA 1975, 76, 77
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Lawrence Gibb ‘Lawrie ‘ Knight

(NEW ZEALAND 1974-76-77 5g 6Tests)

Lawrie Knight  #730

In his first three seasons as an All Black it seemed as if Lawrie Knight was going to become a victim of his versatility and not receive the test cap he thoroughly deserved.

Like Andy Earl who followed later, Knight was capable of playing with competence and skill as a lock, blindside flanker or No 8. On his three tours to Australia and Fiji in 1974, Ireland, Wales and the Barbarians at Twickenham the same year and to South Africa in 1976 he wore the utility tag.

Indeed, over those three tours he appeared for the All Blacks in 24 matches without receiving a cap, though a couple of his matches may have been deemed tests today – against Fiji at Suva in 1974 and as a replacement against the Wales XV at Cardiff later in the same year.

Knight was actually chosen for Australia in 1974 as the backup lock to John Callesen and Peter Whiting. But he was, even for those years, on the small side for a lock at 1.91m and his pace and athleticism clearly marked him as more a backrow specialist.

But between 1974 and 1976, Andy Leslie, as captain, had first call on the No 8 spot and Ian Kirkpatrick was always going to be preferred ahead of Knight on the flank. The best Knight could achieve in those three years was a regular place in the reserves.

For the 1977 series against the British Isles, Leslie had retired and Knight gained overdue international honours as the logical choice at No 8. He played in all tests and achieved national hero status when he followed through on a kick ahead by Bill Osborne to recover a spilled pass and score the winning try in the fourth test at Eden Park.

Even though the Lions had largely outplayed the All Blacks for much of the series, particularly the fourth test, Knight’s try meant the All Blacks taking the rubber.

Knight made his fourth All Black tour to France in 1977, appearing in both tests, but with Gary Sear shifted to No 8 and with Kirkpatrick not in the touring party he was shifted to the blindside flank.

A trained medical doctor, Knight soon after moved to France to play for Paris University and further his studies. He subsequently moved to South Africa, where he lived and practised medicine in Johannesburg for many years, before returning to live in Auckland in the late 1990s.

Knight’s profession won him the nickname “Spock.” It also meant he carried an extra burden on all his All Black tours as an unofficial medical adviser, which was perhaps unfair. In those years a fulltime doctor did not travel with international sides.

Knight started his representative career with Auckland in 1970, after being a schoolboy star in the Auckland Grammar School’s 1st XV in 1966-67. After playing in the Auckland Ranfurly Shield-winning side of 1974 he moved to Gisborne because of his medical career and it was as a Poverty Bay representative, together with Kirkpatrick, that he played the bulk of his All Black career.

Knight had a strong family background in rugby. His father, who had also been christened Laurence, but with a spelling variation, played many games for Auckland as a forward in the 1920s and was an All Black in 1925. His brother and uncle of the younger Lawrie Knight, Arthur (better known as “Bubs”), was also an All Black and long-time Auckland representative in the 1920s and 30s.

Profile by Lindsay Knight
for the New Zealand Rugby Museum.


FULL NAME Lawrence Gibb Knight
BORN Saturday, 24 September 1949 in Auckland, New Zealand
AGE 73
PHYSICAL 1.91m, 101kg
POSITION Lock and loose forward
LAST SCHOOL Auckland Grammar
(First made All Blacks from)
PROVINCES Auckland, Poverty Bay
ALL BLACK DEBUT Wednesday, 1 May 1974
v South Australia at Adelaide
aged 24 years, 219 days
INTERNATIONAL DEBUT Saturday, 18 June 1977
v British & Irish Lions at Wellington
aged 27 years, 267 days
LAST TEST Saturday, 19 November 1977
v France at Paris
aged 28 years, 56 days
ALL BLACK GAMES 29 (2 as a substitute) 29
TOTAL ALL BLACK MATCHES 35 (2 as a substitute) 35
STARTING POSITIONS Jersey Number 7 : 2

Jersey Number 8 : 4

ALL BLACK TEST POINTS 4pts (1t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)
ALL BLACK GAME POINTS 48pts (12t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)
TOTAL ALL BLACK POINTS 52pts (13t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)



(+) = substitute; (-) = replaced

Click on the date below to view the Match Card
1 May vs South Australia at Adelaide 117-6
8 May vs Victoria at Melbourne 41-3
15 May vs N.S.W. Country at Dubbo 27-4
21 May vs A.C.T. at Queanbeyan 49-0
28 May vs Queensland at Brisbane 42-6
3 Jun vs Queensland Country at Toowoomba 29-0
11 Jun vs Fiji at Suva 14-13
6 Nov vs Combined Irish Universities at Cork 10-3
16 Nov vs Ulster at Belfast 30-15
20 Nov vs Connacht at Galway 25-3
27 Nov vs Wales XV at Cardiff 12-3 (+)
3 Jul vs Eastern Province at Port Elizabeth 28-15
7 Jul vs South African Proteas at Cape Town 25-3
20 Jul vs South African Gazelles at Port Elizabeth 21-15
28 Jul vs Western Transvaal at Potchefstroom 42-3
31 Jul vs Transvaal at Johannesburg 12-10 (+)
4 Aug vs South African Universities at Pretoria 21-9
7 Aug vs Eastern Transvaal at Springs 26-12
10 Aug vs Orange Free State Country Invitation XV at Welkom 31-6
18 Aug vs Quagga-Barbarians at Johannesburg 32-31
24 Aug vs Transvaal Country Invitation XV at Witbank 48-13
31 Aug vs Leopards at Mdantsana, East London 31-0
6 Sep vs North-West Cape Invitation XV at Uppington 34-17
14 Sep vs Griqualand West Invitation XV at Kimberley 26-3
18 Jun vs British & Irish Lions at Wellington 16-12
9 Jul vs British & Irish Lions at Christchurch 9-13
30 Jul vs British & Irish Lions at Dunedin 19-7
13 Aug vs British & Irish Lions at Auckland 10-9
22 Oct vs Italian President’s XV at Padua 17-9
26 Oct vs French Selection at Brive 45-3
1 Nov vs French Selection at Perpignan 12-6
5 Nov vs French Selection at Agen 34-12
11 Nov vs France at Toulouse 13-18
15 Nov vs French Selection Angouleme at Angouleme 30-3
19 Nov vs France at Paris 15-3


t c p dg pts
vs South Australia, 1 May 1974 2 8
vs Queensland Country, 3 Jun 1974 1 4
vs South African Gazelles, 20 Jul 1976 1 4
vs Western Transvaal, 28 Jul 1976 1 4
vs Orange Free State Country Invitation XV, 10 Aug 1976 1 4
vs Quagga-Barbarians, 18 Aug 1976 1 4
vs Transvaal Country Invitation XV, 24 Aug 1976 2 8
vs British & Irish Lions, 13 Aug 1977 1 4
vs French Selection, 26 Oct 1977 3 12
Totals 13 0 0 0 52


P W D L t c p dg pts
British & Irish Lions 4 3 1 1 4
France 2 1 1
Totals 6 4 0 2 1 0 0 0 4

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