Rugby is definitely in Sam Whitelock’s bloodline, with him and his three brothers representing New Zealand, but the All Blacks lock has revealed the full extent of his family’s sporting lineage.
Whitelock captained the All Blacks in the Autumn Nations Series and edged closer to Richie McCaw’s record (148) for most appearances for New Zealand, earning his 143 Test cap.
Like many other All Blacks, Whitelock comes from a rugby background, but few could match his family’s insane links to the national team, the Crusaders and his family’s sporting lineage.
In New Zealand, Whitelock has played for the Crusaders and Canterbury throughout his career, with a one-year stint in Japan in 2020, and during his time with the side, he has shared the pitch with his brothers and a few cousins.
And while many fans would know of his brothers, Adam, Luke and George Whitelock, few would have known the full extent of his family’s relationship with rugby in New Zealand. From his father to grandfather to his great-uncles and even further back, the list is impressive.
Speaking on the Good, the Bad and the Rugby podcast, Whitelock revealed all when asked by host Alex Payne to expand on his lineage.
“Four boys, George played for the All Blacks one Test and scored on his first Test, his only Test, against Italy in Christchurch. Adam played for New Zealand Sevens a couple of tournaments. Little brother Luke was the first of the family to captain the All Blacks,” Whitelock explained.
He added that Luke captaining the All Blacks first ‘definitely grates him a bit.’
Sam did reveal his favourite Test match that came back in 2018 when he captained the side against Wales, with his brother Luke packing down at number eight.
“Probably my favourite Test was when we got to play together for the first time in Wales, which I think was my 96th cap, yeah so awesome to play with him,” Sam said before moving swiftly on.
The rest of the family
“Dad played for New Zealand Colts and Manawatu, and then Granddad, so mum’s father, played for the All Blacks in 53/54. Mum’s Uncle played for All Blacks in the same.
“And then mum’s sister Aunty Joe, who married Graeme Higginson, who was an All Black and then whom we’re missing…”
“Younger cousin Ben [Funnell] played 90 odd games for the Crusaders in Canterbury; cousin Hamish Dalzell played professionally all around the world,” he added.
Whitelock then revealed that he shares cousins with another current All Blacks star.
“Long story short, Will Jordan and I actually share cousins, but we’re not actually cousins blood-wise but call each other ‘cuzzie’ so he can be thrown in there,” he joked.
“Then, on my wife’s side, my wife’s, I think it’s a great great great great grandfather played in 1905. He played one Test match and then captained the first New Zealand League side.”
Whitelock hoped he hadn’t missed anyone before adding a few more talented family members to his list.
“So my poor kids have one line to go, and they’ve got a bit of thing to keep up. But then my sister-in-law, Kayla, played 250 games for New Zealand hockey and was pretty much voted and the top five or ten in the world for about ten years straight,” he said.
“So there’s a bit of sporting stuff in the background; mum played tennis.”
And it was at this point that Payne stepped in, reminding Sam Whitelock that ‘it’s only an hour show.’
Payne added: “Unbelievable, I can’t work out whether New Zealand’s a small place or whether that is a hell of a bloodline that you’ve got going right there.”
Sam’s father, Braeden Whitelock, played provincial rugby for Manawatu, but all of his boys played for Canterbury and the Crusaders at one point.
During the podcast, Sam spoke of a string of matches where he lined up alongside his brothers and a few cousins while also delving into the All Blacks’ performances in 2022.
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The article New Zealand: Sam Whitelock’s insane family links to the All Blacks and sporting lineage appeared first on Planetrugby.com.