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Legend McCaw lends support to Northern Ireland starlets


By Jonathan Bradley

The Irish premiere of 'Chasing Great', a documentary on the All Blacks' World Cup-winning skipper Richie McCaw, will take place in Belfast this evening after the Kiwi hero lent his support to an upcoming tour of Ulster youngsters to New Zealand.

The event, which will be introduced by Ulster legend Willie John McBride, a man at the heart of the only victorious Lions tour to New Zealand in 1971, is to take place in Dublin Road cinema and will also feature a Q&A session, with the proceeds going to help the tour, as well as local hospitals in both Belfast and Wellington.

Fourteen enthusiastic under-age rugby players have been taken from sides all over the province for the trip which will run parallel to the Lions tour this summer.

The Ulster kids will play local teams throughout the Wellington region in a sevens format, as well as acting as flag bearers for Warren Gatland's men ahead of the second Test and attending the midweek game against the Hurricanes.

Supported by both the Ulster and Wellington branches, the squad, who have already been kitted out with Lions gear by Standard Life, have been using Coleraine RFC as a training base to prepare in recent months.

And, indeed, they were handed a boost last week when, having agreed to the use of his documentary as part of the fund-raising effort, the three-time World Player of the Year sent a video message wishing them all the best for the tour.

'Chasing Great: The Richie McCaw Story' charts the career of the New Zealand legend from growing up in Christchurch all the way through to his retirement following the victorious 2015 World Cup final.

With unprecedented access to McCaw, documentary film-makers Michelle Walshe and Justin Pemberton followed the former Crusaders man for the final season of his captaincy of the All Blacks, with the film benefiting from both exclusive interviews and previously unseen family videos.

'Chasing Great: The Richie McCaw Story' will be shown at Movie House Dublin Road this evening at 6.30pm, introduced by Lions legend Willie John McBride. Tickets are available through

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