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All Black No. 1056 Campbell Johnstone made history by becoming the first All Black player to ever come out publicly as gay.

The prop who played three matches for the All Blacks in 2005 also made over 70 caps for Canterbury and 38 for the Crusaders.

Johnstone, who came out publicly in an interview with Seven Sharp’s Hilary Barry on Monday 30 January, said he wished he had come out sooner, but the stigma and pressure of “not fitting the mould” held him back. “My view of an All Black was manly, strong, possibly with a wife and kids.”

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Speaking to express the following day, Johnstone said he was overwhelmed by the messages of support he has received. “Within 12 hours of the interview, my Instagram had literally thousands of messages, sent from all over the world, most of them simply saying ‘thank you,’” he tells express.

Campbell Johnstone’s full interview with express will be published in our March issue.

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