Keith Quinn reflects on colourful life of 'minister of lurks and perks' Andy Haden

Longtime rugby commentator Keith Quinn has shed some light on the colourful life lived by late former All Blacks captain Andy Haden, revealing a few nicknames he used to go by which showed off his character.

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Quinn said the former All Blacks captain deserves to be remembered for more than one controversial moment against Wales. Source: Breakfast

Haden died after a long battle with cancer yesterday, aged 69, and Quinn remembers him as someone who was successful in whatever he put his mind to.

"He was successful on the playing field, very successful," Quinn said.

"Then, of course, afterwards he was very successful in business as a player agent... and very successful in his family life, married for 45-plus years.

"He was a big, friendly, gentle giant."

Quinn said those attributes led to a few nicknames among peers.

"They called him Critter in his rugby days but he was also known as the minister of lurks and perks because he was cooking up little deals for the team players in the amateur days, which later became an interest he had."

Most of all, though, Quinn said Haden deserves to be remembered for more than one controversial moment in his playing career.

Haden became forever embroiled in notoriety in a thriller at Cardiff Arms Park against Wales in 1978 when, while New Zealand was down two points in the final moments of the Test, he "dived" from the lineout in an attempt to secure a penalty.

The ploy worked and Brian McKechnie slotted the resulting "kick of the decade" for an All Black win.

Quinn said Haden's 15-year All Blacks career is so much more than that moment, though.

"He was a fantastic player in his time - probably one of the best lock forwards of his era," Quinn said.

"Forty-one Tests looks like a modest total in today's situation when guys go over 100 games of Test rugby, but in those days only Sir Colin Meads had played more and that's probably the first mark you must measure Haden by."

Haden's funeral service will be held at Eden Park on Monday.