Sydenham five-eighth David Field holds an esteemed place in the club’s narrative as a Canterbury captain and a New Zealand representative, touring Australia and Papua New Guinea with the 1982 Kiwis and leading his province in 15 of 33 appearances.
A Papanui junior, Field joined Sydenham and debuted for Canterbury in 1976. He played in the Swans’ Grand Final losses in 1978, 1980 and 1983. He was the local competition’s top try-scorer and the winner of the Canterbury Sportsman of the Year award in 1981, before becoming the first two-time winner of the latter gong in 1983.
Field was part of South Island’s famous upset of Australia in Christchurch in 1980 and earned a call-up to the New Zealand side two years later. He played for South Island against New Zealand prior to the squad’s departure to Australia and made his Kiwis debut in Rockhampton, featuring in a 30-11 victory over Central Queensland.
Fred Ah Kuoi and Gordon Smith were preferred in the No.6 jersey for the Test matches, but Field turned out in a heavy loss to Northern Division in Tamworth and wins against Highland Zone (scoring a try) and Island Zone during the pioneering Papua New Guinea segment of the tour.
The skilful rep stalwart captained a strong New Zealand XIII against Queensland in Brisbane in 1984 and retired after guiding Canterbury to Rugby League Cup success in 1985.
Field gave decades of service to the game locally after hanging up the boots, however, including a lengthy tenure as president of the Sydenham club.
NEW ZEALAND (1982)
4 tour matches – 1 try (3 points)
-1982 Kiwis tour of Australia and Papua New Guinea