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Thursday, October 21, 2010

All Black legend Christian Cullen interviewed in Hong Kong

All Black legend Christian Cullen interviewed in Hong Kong

The good people at the Rugbyasia Channel managed to track down legendary All Black fullback Christian Cullen for a short interview recently in Hong Kong. Mixed in with match footage, if you're a Cullen fan, this one is well worth watching.

A young Christian Cullen took the rugby world by storm as he broke onto the scene with an incredible performance at the Hong Kong Sevens tournament in 1996. He played an integral part in the final as New Zealand beat the powerful Fijians 19-17 in a classic final that included the likes of Waisale Serevi for Fiji, and Jonah Lomu for the men in black.

In this interview an extremely humble Cullen talks about that famous moment behind the posts, then goes on to name his best back three in the world, his favourite tries that he's scored, and what he'd have done if he didn't play rugby professionally.

A sumptuous runner with exceptional balance and an ability to glide through gaps at will, there's no doubt that Cullen was the best attacking fullback of his generation. He wasn't bad on defense either, and packed well above his weight as it was commonly known that he was one of the strongest All Blacks pound for pound come gym time.

Watching these clips brings back some fantastic memories and for those who haven't seen them before, sit back and enjoy as the legend talks you through some of the defining moments of his Sevens and Test rugby career.

A big thanks goes out to Semi from the RugbyAsia Channel , the first stop for rugby fans from Hong Kong and the surrounding Asia region. Visit the Facebook page for news, interviews, video skits, and a whole lot more.

Time: 06:52

Posted by Rugbydump at 8:15 am | View Comments (38)

Viewing 38 comments

Anonymous October 21, 2010 7:22 am


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Anonymous October 21, 2010 7:28 am


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Mike October 21, 2010 8:45 am

Cullen is one of the greats. It's such a pity injured prevented him from showing his best form at Munster. We love our Kiwis in Munster.

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Anonymous October 21, 2010 9:28 am

The greatest Fullback of all time.

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Anonymous October 21, 2010 10:30 am

one of my all time favorites...

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rosh October 21, 2010 10:43 am

absolute legend, should have been playing for the all blacks up till 2005 atleast. shame. nice guy though

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Anonymous October 21, 2010 11:06 am

The stats speak for themselves. 46 tries in 58 tests. I cant think of a fullback ever that has a ratio like that in the professional era...a true legend

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Anonymous October 21, 2010 11:37 am

Incredible fullback, I recall an amazing 100m try vs NSW, he seemed to be able sidestep without losing any speed. I also remember his defence, which was so solid. Probably the most astonishing occasion was in the Super 12 when he was the only defender faced with about 4 attacking forwards going for the line. Somehow he makes the tackle and stops the play but the most incredible sight was Cullen emerging from a pile of opposition back-rowers with a singlehanded turnover and popping the ball to a team-mate. Just ridiculous talent.

My favourite fullback of all time, no present day fullback hits the line with anything like his impact.

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Greiffel October 21, 2010 11:40 am

^ Anonymous, check out the related links for that try

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NiWiTa October 21, 2010 12:00 pm

Good bloke....can't think of another fullback with that capability and record...

Who do we think top fullbacks are at International level currently. I guess mils muliana would have to be in your top 3....

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Anonymous October 21, 2010 12:19 pm

LOL @ 2.55 on lomu vid the commentator is about to jizz his pants!!!

Cullen is a legend.

Tom (Eire)

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Anonymous October 21, 2010 2:10 pm

Seems a decent bloke and has always been a favourite of mine. The only fullback to come near him is Andre Joubert.

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dutchrugbyplayer October 21, 2010 3:01 pm

The last word of the video says it all: Legend!
11 years ago I named my son after this man and there hasn't been one rugbyplayer since as exciting as Cullen

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Huh!! the 3rd October 21, 2010 4:12 pm

I know Munster fans will be on here moaning about a waste of money and so on. But one of the first games I went to he put in an incredible try saving hit on someone (think it was against the Borders) in the opening 10 minutes right in front of me. It was absolutely bonecrunching. He had to be subbed straight away, but what an introduction to live rugby.

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Mike October 21, 2010 4:16 pm

Dutchrugbyplayer, that's funny, I also named my son after my favourite player.

He's called Rupeni Caucaunibuca O'Shaughnessy. We call him Rupeni Caucau for short.

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Huh!! the 3rd October 21, 2010 4:21 pm

Current best Full backs.

All round it'd be Mils, but he didn't score a try for ABs until he played 13 in '03 World cup. Actually, now I think of it, Cullen played 13 in 99, Mils played 13 in '03 and '07. Why have ABs played both their best FBs out of position at the last 3 world cups?

Outside of Mils, France has a couple, Medard, Potrenoid, Ire always produces top FBs, Murphy, Kearney (if he learned to run more), the Wallabies have backlines full of them playing out of position, and Foden looks quality for Eng, but no FB will ever have the try ratio of Cullen.

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Stubby October 21, 2010 5:20 pm

Damn Mitchell to hell

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Anonymous October 21, 2010 5:27 pm


Footwork.. footwork everywhere!

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Sander October 21, 2010 5:30 pm

@ Huh the 3rd

It was Leon MacDonald playing 13 in the 2003 World Cup, Muliaina was playing fullback.

Macdonald went to 13 because Umaga was out. Injured against Italy, of all games...

I can't recall Muliaina playing 13 in 2007 RWC either, but that could be my bad! He has played at 13 for a while...

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Maximus October 21, 2010 5:53 pm

He's always been one of my fav AB backs with Jeff Wilson. Somehow I associate them, perhaps because of their efficiency and their ability to play more or less everywhere in the back line. I don't know Jejj's stats but I guess they are pretty decent too.

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Dave Whelan October 21, 2010 10:01 pm

@Huh!! the 3rd

I remember that tackle, I've been trying to remember what game it was since so I could track it down.

The other lad was in for a sure try and Cullen comes across from the opposite wing and somehow pushes him into touch without getting the ball down. Incredible.

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Luke October 21, 2010 11:31 pm

Back in '08 I'd say Lee Byrne was among the top 2-3 full backs in the world. Unfortunately he hasn't hit that form again in a while. Was a pleasure to watch for that season.

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Nicko October 21, 2010 11:32 pm

@Sander yea they teamed up McAlister and Mills in the midfield in 2007. Dam that rotation policy to hell.

Back to Cullen, he was a legend, I remember seeing him and Jonah at the rugby 7's in Hong Kong... The entire crowd took a deep breath every time they touched the ball.

Amazing times!

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Luke October 21, 2010 11:33 pm

Oh and Cullen is my favourite player of all time. He embodies everything I love about rugby:

Exciting to watch
Blistering speed
Rock in defence
His footwork was sublime
Humble manner
Proves that it truly is a game for all sizes

The perfect player if you ask me.

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EnglandGlory4Eva October 22, 2010 2:57 am

this guy was good but foden will soon surpass him. Remember he has won a world cup

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Roadpig October 22, 2010 3:16 am

I concur with, and would parrot, everyone's comments on here. I love Cullen.

I remember watching Cullen play for the Lions in the NPC, and the Hurricanes in the Super12, and he was the only reason me and the boys went to every game - both were very average teams which Cullen would single-handedly carry through a season.

I will always remember John Mitchell as the b@stard who ruined Cullen's international career, and disrespected him in the manner in which he did it (oh and as another coach who failed come world cup time for NZ!).

As for Englandglory4eva, you are on drugs. It is unlikely that we will see anyone of Cullen's calibre during our lifetime. He was a freak.

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Anonymous October 22, 2010 3:23 am

A couple points:

1) Absolute legend. Agree with the earlier comment, I've simply never seen a player hit the line with the speed that Cullen could. Ran great lines, and with his pace, no one was catching him once he had a step.

2) More importantly, just a class act off the pitch. Mitchell (and lets not forget -- Robbie Deans) did their best to disgrace him when they took over.

Verdict: Those two are both out of NZ rugby, Cullen remains the standard that all #15s aspire to.

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Wylie October 22, 2010 9:15 am

In addition to that try vs NSW there was another long range I seem to recall try vs australian opposition in the S12, 80-90m plus, he just seems to swerve past about 3 or 4 players on the outside - can anyone else recall that? I can't find the video but definitely remember it. I recall the commentators saying "something's on here" even though Cullen was deep in his own half with about 3 players between him and the try line.

Anyone else remember that? Definitely worth a video up here if its not already.

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Laz October 22, 2010 9:42 am

EnglandGlory4Eva you muppet, Foden made his England debut last year!

Cullen - legend. Not many come close.

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Anonymous October 22, 2010 11:21 am


and foden should not be spoke in the same sentence (as illustrated).

(I like Foden but would put Duffy of connacht ahead of him at the moment. He needs time)

Hangin' with the fat-boys

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NiWiTa October 22, 2010 12:59 pm

@Luke - yeah Byrne was superb for a while. Don't understand what happened thereafter to his form. However hopefully it means (for me as an England fan), that you won't spank us too badly in the next 6 nations.........

So excited about the autumn tests this year...I like Ben Foden but @EnglandGlory4eva he has a long way to go before getting close to Cullen or Mils! You must be smoking more herb than Snoop Doggy Dog!

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cigarr0 October 22, 2010 2:11 pm

What a Legend!

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Anonymous October 22, 2010 5:09 pm

LOL at the ben foden comment

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cheyanqui October 22, 2010 5:22 pm

What a way to start your career.

Jones to Brooke to you.

How many Kiwi schoolboys must have made that call in their dreams.

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Adam October 22, 2010 6:29 pm

Surely one of the best fullback of all times. Even though you can't compare professional and older eras, I would not forget Blanco in the eighties. Maybe not as strong and quick but maybe more gifted.

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Anonymous October 22, 2010 8:55 pm

i've looked for clips of cullen from the 1996 HK 7s for a long time. I remember seeing Cullen at the time - he was unbelievable, sidestepping guys at pace and dotting down under the posts. If anyone has links, the'd be welcome. As someone else said, he's the benchmark FB.

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wassup October 23, 2010 6:52 pm

I don't know if RD has a video of all of Cullen's tries, but I found a YouTube clip of 41 of his first 46 tries. Some of them are amazing.

I remember in the '99 World Cup the All Blacks played England and there was one move where Tana Umaga, Jeff Wilson, Jonah Lomu and Christian Cullen and all featured in a try. Glorious! Imagine if those 4 had combined sooner and consistently. Best attacking centre-wing-fullback combo of all time?

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