FERN LEAF AND BLACK JERSEY,
To the particulars which have already been supplied in.an endeavour to throw light on the origin of the silver fern lc;if badge and All Black uniform, Messrs. M. Hyland (Wellington) and W. 1?. Collis (Auckland) give further information of interest. Mr. Hyland claims that it was on tho occasion of a Wellington-Wairarapa Riigby match in ISS6 oi--ISS7 that tho fern leaf was first adopted as a badge. The Wellington team was journeying to Wairarapa when a stop was made at Hayward's Farm "Miss Hayward.gave one of our boys a 'fern leaf," said Mr. Hyland, "and asked him to wear it for luck. Before taking the field for the match the player pinned the fern leaf over the W.R.U. badge, and luck was .with us! Tom Ellison and Davie Gage passed the remark that tho fern leaf would make- a better badge than the one we were wearing. In 18SS when the Native team was chosen to go to Australia and. England, the question of a suitable, monogram and badge cropped up. Tom Ellison, Davie Gage, and George Williams recommended the silver fern leaf, and this was adopted. The black uniform with silver fern leaE on the jersey was worn by tho IBBS Native team, and the silver fern leaf was also worn as a hat badge. The Wellington Rugby representatives wore the .black uniform years before, with a shield monogram and gold lettering." Mr. Collis states that he recently had a conversation with George Wynyard (better known as "Sherry"), a member of the ISSS Native team, and an older brother of W. T. ("Tabby") Wynyard, of Wellington. It was ascertained "from George Wynyard that ho was present at Wellington when Joo Warbrick, captain of the Native team, chose the ail black jers&y and silver fern leaf as the uniform of the team. George Wynyard also said that each member of the team, when in mufti, wore a black button relieved by two silver fern leaves, in the lapel of his coat. The all' black jersey was selected as being most suitable in colour to withstand the wet and sloppy playing fields which were likely to bo experienced in England. Agreement with George Wynyard's remarks was expressed by Jack Groom Welister, who was invited to go as a member of the Native team, but was prevented by family circumstances from accepting the offer.
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