Sir Brian Lochore – one of the All Black greats

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today acknowledged the passing of New Zealand rugby legend Sir Brian Lochore at the age of 78 following a battle with cancer.

“Sir Brian is one of the most admired figures in New Zealand and world rugby, having achieved fame and respect as a player, captain, and later as a coach, manager and selector,” Grant Robertson says.

“He first became a star lock for Masterton and Wairarapa, and his legacy lives on in domestic rugby each year with the Lochore Cup.

“Of course it was in his 68 games for the All Blacks – 46 of them as Captain – where he cemented his place in international rugby history.

“Among his many well deserved honours was becoming an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to rugby upon his retirement from the All Blacks in 1970.”

Sir Brian led the All Blacks to a 4-0 home series defeat of the Lions in 1966. Under his leadership, the following year they went undefeated in 24 games on a tour of Great Britain, France and Canada, including tests against England, Wales, Scotland and France. 

“Sir Brian’s involvement in our national game did not end with his playing days. He coached Masterton and Wairarapa-Bush before guiding the All Blacks to win the inaugural Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 1987. He was also our Campaign Manager at the 1995 World Cup, and a selector when we won the Cup for a second time in 2011,” Grant Robertson says.

“However, what’s most impressive is how far his reach extended beyond rugby. The many national and community roles he held include former chairman of the Hillary Commission for Sport, and he was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport and the community in 1999.”

“In 2007, he was fittingly inducted into the Order of New Zealand, our country’s highest honour. He was the quintessential New Zealand sportsman, and he will be dearly missed. I would like to send my condolences to his wife Pam and the rest of the Lochore family at this time.”