WHILE on a two-week tour of New Zealand, Barry resident John Viney met former All Black front row forward John Ashworth, who was part of the Grand Slam winning team of 1978. Ashworth was involved in the notorious stamping incident during a match with Bridgend, which left JPR Williams needing 30 stitches.

John Viney, a window cleaner and magistrate who lives in Cadoxton, said: "I was in the wine region of Hawkes Bay, to taste the region’s choice wines, when I chanced upon The Junction Vineyard, owned by John and his family.

"His wife Jo greeted me and it was while tasting that I noticed several All Black pictures on the wall.

"When she heard I was from Wales, Jo said ‘my husband was an All Black and played against Wales’." During the conversation, Jo mentioned the JPR incident and at this point, in walked the man himself.

Ashworth told John: "I still coach a local team, but that’s as far as it goes."

Questioned about the forthcoming World Cup to be held in New Zealand, he added: "I will be watching it on the television drinking a glass of wine! I haven’t even taken up my quota of tickets."

John Ashworth’s son, Leith, is an award-winning wine maker who turns grapes from the windswept stony gravels of Central Hawkes Bay into intense, aromatic wines.

The range of wines reflects the former All Black’s passion, with names like ‘Side Step Gewurztraminer’, ‘Corner Post Sauvignon Blanc’, and ‘Front Row Pinot Noir’. John Viney added: "With a name like ‘Viney’, it’s not surprising I enjoy the product of the vine! "As he walked me back to my car like a perfect gentleman, he posed for a picture and reflected on his time in Wales.

"His twisted teeth, displayed when smiling, betray the fact that he did not always get his own way against opposition in the scrum!

"He also told me that one of the best nights in his career was when John Toshack took a few of them out for the evening after a match!"