The New Zealand Rugby Sevens team claimed some more silverware for the trophy case with a Cape Town sevens win over South Africa – and celebrated in what is becoming a trademark way for the Kiwis.
The trend was started by Kiwi star Kurt Baker and he has got his kit off several times after big wins in the past.
But to celebrate veteran Sam Dickson’s 50th sevens tournament, he had the honour of nuding up and climbing aboard Baker’s shoulders.
It came after New Zealand won the tournament with a hard-fought 7-5 win over South Africa in the final of the tournament.
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Baker started posing in the buff back in 2016 when he basically stripped off after each of the Kiwis wins with photos going to social media.
It’s a trend that has continued over the years with the 2018 Commonwealth Games also seeing the star strip off with his gold medal and stuffed mascot Borobi, a blue koala, preserving Baker’s dignity.
The sitting on shoulders has also become part of the act.
While it looked to be just Baker who was ready to go nude for the celebration, it had caught on.
In 2018, the Thames Valley Swamp Foxes won the Heartland Championship trophy with 38-year-old veteran Lance Easton pulling a Baker before it crossed sporting lines with netballer Wendy Frew celebrating her retirement and an ANZ Championship win Baker-style.
How did the trend start? Baker told Newshub in 2018 that the prank was designed to help his teammates loosen up after the intensity of the Sevens tournament.
“It was just for a bit of a laugh,” Baker said after winning in San Francisco. “I have always sort of done something like that if we win something, so thought I better keep up the tradition, given it was a World Cup.”
But Dickson’s celebration was special after reaching the milestone.
He became just the sixth New Zealand men’s player to reach the milestone with his teammates delivering an emotional haka as a mark of respect for the star before the tournament began.
“It’s a massive achievement and shows real resilience and consistency to reach 50 tournaments. It is a huge credit to Sam and the team is really excited to get out there and play with him for his 50th,” New Zealand coach Clark Laidlaw said before the tournament.
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Unfortunately for Dickson, he suffered a concussion in the quarterfinals and was unable to take the field for the final.
But his teammates still rallied around the star, taking on the honour of the nude celebration.
It was payback for the Kiwis, who had been beaten by South Africa 15-0 the week before in the Dubai final.
“It doesn’t get much better,” New Zealand captain Scott Curry said. “Playing South Africa at their home ground, 50,000 fans roaring, it’s hard not to get inspired by that, even for a Kiwi.” The Kiwis have been inspired for decades, having won the South African title for the 11th time in 21 tournaments.
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