John Kirwan (rugby)

John Kirwan (Rugby)

Rugby Biography
Rugby Biography Less

John Kirwan (rugby)

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John James Patrick Kirwan, ONZM, MBE (born 16 December 1964) is a New Zealand rugby union footballer, and former All Black, turned coach. With 35 tries in 63 tests for the All Blacks, Kirwin appears on the list of the highest try scorers in Rugby Union history.

Early life

Kirwan was educated at De La Salle College, Mangere East in Auckland.

Rugby Union playing career

Kirwan played at wing for 96 appearances (including 63 test matches) as an All Black from 1984 until 1994. Kirwan played a major role in the All Blacks’ 23 test unbeaten run from 1987–1990, scoring 10 tries in five tests against Wales and Australia during 1988. In all he scored 35 test tries for the All Blacks, and 67 tries in total for appearances with the All Blacks, the latter which continues to be the New Zealand record. Kirwan's record of 199 first class tries continues to be the New Zealand record for first class rugby.

Rugby League playing career

Kirwan played rugby league for two seasons in the Australian Rugby League Premiership for the Auckland Warriors before finishing his playing career with the NEC club in Japan.

Rugby Union coaching career


In 2002, Kirwan moved to Italy to become the coach of the Italian national rugby team, which under his guidance recorded historic victories over Wales in 2003 and Scotland in 2004. After a winless 2005 Six Nations campaign, he was relieved of his managerial duties on 8 April 2005.

At the 2003 Rugby World Cup Italy won two games - beating...
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