Brendon McCullum returns to rugby 18 years after last game

Sunday Sport 03/06/2018
Photo credit: Reuters.

Brendon McCullum has hit the rugby paddock for the first time in 18 years - and he wants more.

The former Blackcaps skipper donned the boots for Matamata United B in the local Waikato club competition.

The 36-year-old famously kept All Black great Dan Carter out of a New Zealand secondary schools squad almost 20 years ago, but found himself in the unfamiliar position of fullback on Saturday.

"I got talked into it a little bit but it was good fun," McCullum told Andrew Gourdie and Jim Kayes on RadioLIVE's Sunday Sport.

"I don't really have the lung capacity to be playing back there, so next time I think I'll get a little bit closer to the action.

"It was meant to be a bit of a soft entry from a contact point of view, but that was never going to happen given it was a local derby. I had to get through that first tackle and it may have been a little bit late, but it wasn't too bad."

McCullum found himself placed with kicking duties for the match and managed to score a conversion, though a muscle tweak during a warm-up limited his game time.

"I only managed 60 minutes as I pulled my groin a little bit kicking goals before the game, so that wasn't ideal."

"The good thing about that was sitting on the sideline enjoying an ice cold Waikato Draught.

"I was never a noted try scorer so figured there was no point trying to broaden my horizons given it was my first game for 18 years."

McCullum is hopeful his injury woes diminish later in the week so he can have another run around next weekend.

Although he isn't keen on another shot at fullback, McCullum said he is happy to plug any gaps to get in the starting XV.

"We will see how this injury goes throughout the week, but yeah - I wouldn't mind playing another couple of games.

"I love rugby and with a bit of a break I've got some time. It's great to contribute to the community here in Matamata. It's good fun.

"I don't think I'm in any position to begin negotiating what position I play. I've worked out that if you turn up to training on the Thursday you are a good chance of playing on the Saturday so that'll be first and foremost."

When pressed on how he performed during the post-match festivities, McCullum told Sunday Sport he was "pressured" into consuming a handle of Waikato's finest - a hard task for a 'Southern Man'.

But as for what hurt the most on Sunday morning when he got out of bed? The groin, the legs, the upper body perhaps?

"My liver," McCullum cheekily replied.

Listen to the full interview with Brendon McCullum above.

Sunday Sport with Andrew Gourdie and Jim Kayes, 2pm - 6pm every Sunday afternoon on RadioLIVE, and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

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