Wayne has a huge passion for the Rugby and was named a Companion of the Order of New Zealand for his services to rugby in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Wayne was involved as the All Blacks attack coach from 2004 until 2010, when he then took over as defence and counter attack coach through to the RWC in 2011. He was previously All Blacks Technical Advisor in 1998 and 1999 before taking over the Head Coach role for the two following seasons.
He spent three seasons with English club Northampton which he thoroughly enjoyed, taking the team to two cup finals at Twickenham before being enticed back to New Zealand.
As a rugby player, Wayne played 35 games (17 Tests) at first five-eighth for the All Blacks between 1980 and 1985. He scored six tries and four drop goals for the All Blacks. Unusually, all six of his Test points were scored by dropped goal.
Wayne played 74 games for Canterbury at first-five, scoring the winning try for Canterbury when the Ranfurly Shield was lifted from Wellington in 1982.
Wayne says: “I am a Putaruru boy and have most of my family on farms down there. I went to Putaruru High School and completed an Honours degree in Social Sciences at Waikato Uni. I still traveled home to play rugby in Putaruru as it’s where I connected best with people and had the greatest personal meaning.
I was really lucky to have strong support as a young rugby player which allowed me to dream. I never imagined I would become an All Black, but I had been encouraged to follow my bliss and this allowed me to think bigger than a skinny little Putaruru kid was supposed to!
Clearly my passions are my family and Rugby. The two things have always been entwined. The strong connections with my family and community have always given me the resilience and inspiration to play and coach. My rural background, playing multiple sports as a youngster, filling in for adult teams and having to be self reliant shaped my coaching belief that people will rise to a challenge if it’s their challenge – they won’t necessarily rise to others’ challenges.
This part of supporting youth who are willing to rise to their own challenges, who want to give back to community and help others really excites me. Trish and my twin boys (Nick and Josh) lived with me in Italy for a few years in the 80’s and 90’s. These were formative years for the boys and, whilst the history of the place fascinated and inspired them, we all really came to treasure what we had in NZ. Less people, less pollution, less corruption and a purer, more accessible wild environment. Combining both these areas (youth and environment) is unique and the reason I’m so keen to support Pathway 1.”