Born to an English father and Maori mother, Joe Warbrick captained and coached the 1888 New Zealand Natives team on the legendary tour of the British Isles, Australia and New Zealand that lasted 15 months, the longest and most arduous rugby tour in history.
The 1888 team were the first New Zealand team to have the silver fern adorn the black jersey, and were also credited with introducing the haka to the rugby world. They won 78 of their 107 matches, lost 23 and drew six.
Warbrick first came to a prominence as a schoolboy capable of dropping goals from halfway, often barefooted. He became the youngest player to play first-class rugby in New Zealand when he appeared at full-back for Auckland in 1877, aged 15 – a record he holds to this day.
Officially acknowledged as the 17th All Black, Warbrick played in all seven matches on the New Zealand tour to New South Wales in 1884.
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