Ex-All Blacks coach Burke dies, aged 90

Author
Newstalk ZB staff,
Section
Sport,
Publish Date
Monday, 2 October 2017, 6:39PM
Burke coached the All Blacks in 1981 and 1982 (Photosport)
Burke coached the All Blacks in 1981 and 1982 (Photosport)

Former All Blacks player and coach Peter Burke, who has died at the age of 90, has been hailed for his contribution to rugby in New Zealand.

New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey described that contribution as "immense".

"After a dedicated playing career, Peter continued his involvement for decades to follow as a coach and administrator; our game is better off because of men like Peter," Mr Impey said.

"Our thoughts are with his family and the Taranaki rugby community at this time."

A lock and No.8, Burke played 12 matches for the All Blacks between 1951 and 1959, including three Tests, all against Australia.

He was also a Taranaki centurion, running out 117 times for the province and was captain in 1958 during a Ranfurly Shield tenure.

After hanging up his boots, Burke served as a selector and assistant coach of Taranaki, and tasted more Ranfurly Shield success as the union enjoyed their most successful Shield run.

Burke coached the All Blacks in 1981 and 1982, and his 11 matches in charge included series wins over the Springboks and the Wallabies.

He went on to serve as New Zealand Rugby Union president in 1994 and received a New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997 for services to sport.

In 2008, he was named a life member of New Zealand Rugby.

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