31 Aug Michael Jones’ famous try unveiled in bronze
A larger than life bronze sculpture of All Black legend Michael Jones was unveiled Friday evening in front of the redeveloped Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
The bronze sculpture commem-orates Jones scoring against Italy in the opening match of the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 at the same ground.
It took Auckland artist Natalie Stamilla months of work to create the large bronze sculpture of Jones reaching for the try line, and cost around $300,000.
Stamilla wanted to commemorate the try by Jones, and the custom bronze sculpture‘s design is based on a photograph of the iconic moment that was captured by Stamilla’s father, Geoff Dale, who was a press photographer during the tournament.
Jones was on hand with his family to witness the unveiling that night.
The legendary flanker told ONE News the try was a particularly special memory of his.
“I’m pretty sure it was about fifty metres I flew wasn’t it?”
Technically the first try of the match, and the Rugby World Cup, was a penalty try. Jones, however, scored the first try by a player.
Stamilla said her bronze sculpture is around 50% larger than lifesize.
“Everything is sort of an extra half of what it would be in person,” she said.
“But it is sort of a little more stunning than that when you come and see it in person, it’s so huge.”
There were concerns initially the project would not go ahead because of a lack of funding, but private bronze statues funding was secured for the bronze cast sculpture from Contractors Bonding Ltd (CBL).