One of the Rugby World Cup founders and pioneers without whose involvement the glittering tournament we know today might never have got off the ground.

Richard Littlejohn, a long-serving Bay of Plenty official and former All Blacks team manager, teamed up with Australian Rugby Union President Nicholas Shehadie to convince the rest of the rugby family that for the sport to prosper and become a truly global game, it needed a Rugby World Cup.

In what became known as the ‘Nick and Dick show’, the pair travelled the length and breadth of the UK in an attempt to persuade the sceptical home unions that such a tournament was the best way to ward off threats from money-seeking entrepreneurs wishing to take over control of the game.

Their proposals were narrowly voted in at the International Rugby Football Board meeting in Paris in March 1985, and Littlejohn was made joint chairman of the RWC 1987 organising committee.