Woman motorist runs into mooning rugby player

(7 April 2003, From stuff.co.nz)

A rugby player who displayed his naked buttocks to a woman motorist near Queenstown on Saturday night is in hospital with pelvic and hip injuries. A bus load of two Wakatipu rugby club teams, the Premiers and the Wanderers, were returning from an away game at Omakau when some of them decided to make a naked dash across the Kawarau Bridge.

Constable Chris Blackford said the bus stopped about 9pm on Saturday at the Kawarau bridge where five or six players stripped off and sprinted across the bridge and back. "Unfortunately one young fellow took it a step further and mooned a car on the way back across the bridge. The car hit him."

The man was taken to Southland Hospital in Invercargill. The woman driving the car was shaken but not hurt, Mr Blackford said. Wakatipu Rugby Club spokesman Dave Anderson said the club would not be making any comment until after an internal investigation.

It's a bum wrap says streaker
09 April 2003
By Stu Oldham

The bloke lying prone in Southland Hospital yesterday shyly acknowledged his backside is now famous – and not just in New Zealand.

"What– I was in Australian papers?" he exclaimed, uncomfortably clawing the oxygen mask slipping down his unshaven chin.

"Oh, man, no wonder everyone's having a laugh."

No wonder, too, that he doesn't want people to put a name to his backside.

Three days earlier, just after 9pm on Saturday, the talented 26-year-old rugby player was sprinting naked across the Kawarau Bridge.

It started as what sources said was a "bit of a tradition" to welcome new boys to their first season with the Wakatipu Rugby Club, but it ended when the man slipped, sluggishly rose to all fours and was hit from behind by a car doing about 80kmh (about 50 mph).

The police later said he appeared to have been mooning the oncoming car.

But the clearly embarrassed Queenstown-based courier driver reckoned he "hadn't been drinking enough to make me stupid."

"I had no idea the car was even there until it hit me. I'd slipped over and was facing the lights of the bus when it (the car) hit me. I was trying to get up, to get out of the way, and that's the only reason my backside was in the air."

Witnesses said he flew several metres, and was lucky not to have landed over the rails and in the Kawarau River.

But reflecting on the four stitches in his head, and the operation to insert a pin in his pelvis, he knew he was lucky not to be lying in a box.

"If I was still lying down I would have been like a judder bar, and if I was standing up my spine could be stuffed. "If my right butt-cheek hadn't absorbed all the force, who knows where I'd be now." He was resigned to the fact he might miss more than the odd game this season. "But at least I'm still here. There's always next season, ay."

The former Waikato man was reluctant to discuss the future of the team's naked tradition, and didn't want to say anything that would compromise his rugby club, or the lads.

That he had been described as a "mooner" in media all over the world might not help things, he said.

[I'm sorry, but the title I came up with, "New Zealand Moon," is just too good not to use. Besides, this is rugby. Now... does anyone have a photo of this fellow? - Wes]

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