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The Gisborne Photo News



Buff Milner

At Tokomaru Bay we find a talented young centre three-quarters, who is possibly the most outstanding member of our All Black quartet.

He is Buff Milner, an 18-year-old son of Mr and Mrs P. Milner.

Milner is outstanding, not only because at the age of 18 he represented his country as a member of the N.Z. Colts, but because he is a school boy with a serious mind for the future.

A strong well-built youth, he has played for the Tokomaru Bay District High School First XV for five years, and made his debut in first class rugby last year when he played for Tokomaru and East Coast.

On Saturdays, he follows a routine which could be unique in the country, playing in the morning for his school, and in the afternoon for the United Services Club in the senior competition.

When taking the field for East Coast, he has as a team-mate his school teacher and rugby coach, Fred Jackson.

Considered by many as the "find" of the Colts' tour, he obviously has a great rugby future ahead of him, but this has not deterred his ambition to become a school teacher, and he has decided to sacrifice his rugby for two years until he can qualify for Training College.

The decision would not have been an easy one, for because of it he has already turned down nomination for the Maori All Blacks' tour of Fiji, and the East Coast tour of Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and King Country. He is, however, still available for games in his home territory, provided they do not interfere with his schooling.

Although much younger than Collins and Ransley, Milner remembers attending the old Tokomaru Public School with them.

His headmaster, Mr Phil Renner, an East Coast representative of 1951-52, also remembers the former pair, coaching them on their first legs of rugby when they were in the midget grade.



Back to the school classroom after his absence in Australia with the N. Z. Colts, Buff Milner settles down to the serious business of studying for his school certificate.


Mr Phil Renner, headmaster of a rugby-minded school with a proud record....three New Zealand representatives in the last 12 years.


Milner takes a word of advice from his school teacher, coach, and fellow East Coast team-mate, Fred Jackson.