Wakatipu stalwart all nerves ahead of rugby final

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A Wakatipu win this Saturday would thrill a stalwart involved with the rugby club for its entire 60 years.
 
Arrowtowner Bill Dagg, 83, played openside flanker for the Wakatipu Rugby Club when it formed in 1953 – and is a bundle of nerves ahead of the season final at 2.45pm against Maniototo.

Dagg, who has only missed one Premiers game this season, says the forwards battle will be tough for Wakatipu: “I think the only way we can beat them is to run them around a bit.”

A club life member, Dagg’s been a passionate supporter throughout its history and was president in 1962-1963 and from 1983-91. 

Wakatipu was an amalgamation of Queenstown, Country and Arrowtown clubs, though the latter hived off again some decades later. 

Dagg recalls choosing the club’s crest by borrowing the one off his old school blazer.
 
A former Country player, he had two or three seasons for Wakatipu but later turned out when they were short. 

Dagg: “In the old days, Bryan Douglas and I used to mark the ground out every Saturday morning.” 

As a contrast to today’s teams of mostly transient players, Dagg says about 80 per cent of the successful mid-1980s team were born and bred in Queenstown. 

Those players included his son Brian, who played about 20 years for the club after starting a week before his 17th birthday. 

Dagg senior farmed Coronet Peak Station from 1955-2003.