IRB Hall of Fame – Induction No.35 – Sir Brian James Lochore ONZ, KNZN, OBE (1940-) Masterton RFC, Wairarapa, Wairarapa-Bush, New Zealand

Personal details


– Born: 3 September, 1940 in Masterton, New Zealand
– Family: The fourth oldest child of Jim and Joyce Lochore, a farming family from Masterton. He has two younger brothers, Kevin and Wayne, and a sister Shona. Married to Pam, they have three children - twin daughters Sandra and Joanne and a son David - and eight grandchildren.
– Education: Opaki Primary School, Wairarapa College
– Nickname: BJ
– Other sports: Riding, tennis (Wairarapa representative from 1957-61 and 1979-80) and golf

Professional career

– A farmer, sheep stud breeder

Awards and records

– Awarded an OBE in 1970
– Coach of southern hemisphere team at the IRFB Centenary in 1986
– Appointed Knight Companion of New Zealand order of Merit in 1999
– NZRU Steinlager Salver award for outstanding service to rugby in 2003
– IRB Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service in 2006
– Order of New Zealand (ONZ) in 2007
– Appointed to the Halberg Trust
– Member and eventually Chairman of the Hillary Commission
– Chairman of the Sports Foundation
– National Patron of the Catwalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust
– Chairman of the QE II Trust
– SPARC Leadership award for his contribution to NZ sport at 2006 Halberg Sports Awards
– One of 19 Rugby World Cup founders, pioneers and legends who were inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame at the IRB Awards in Auckland on 24 October 2011

Rugby career

– As there were only 20 pupils at Opaki Primary School, there was no rugby team, so his parents took him to the Masterton club, which he joined at the age of 10
– He went on playing for the Wairarapa College first team, where he was coached by Gordon Henderson. After college he re-joined the Masterton club.
– In 1959, he played his first season of senior club rugby for Masterton, a club he remained associated with until the end of his playing career, playing either at second row or number eight
– At the age of 19 he made his representative debut at flanker for Wairarapa-Bush against the British and Irish Lions
– He played for Wairarapa from 1959 to 1970 and represented Wairapapa-Bush in 1959, 1965-66 and 1971
– He took part in New Zealand trials in 1961 and 1963 and was on the bench for the 1963 test against England
– He represented the North Island between 1964 and 1969  
– He represented New Zealand in 68 matches, of which 24 were tests, and scored a total of seven tries (21 points)
– He made his Test debut v England at Twickenham on 4 January, 1964
– He started at number eight in 23 of his 24 tests. In his final Test he played in the second row against the Lions after being asked by the selectors to help the injury-ridden New Zealand in 1971

Tours and competitions

1963 – New Zealand tour of the UK, France and Canada
1967 – Bledisloe Cup
1967 – New Zealand tour of Canada, British Isles and France
1968 – Bledisloe Cup
1970 – New Zealand tour of South Africa

Playing summary

AgainstMatchesWonDrawn Lost Tries Cons Pens DGs Points
Wales330 0 1 0003
England2200 0 0000
Scotland2110000 0 0
Australia 2 2 0 0 00 0 00
South Africa840 4 00 0 0 0
France330 0 00 0 0 0
B&I Lions540 1 10 0 0 3
Total 25 19 1 5 2 00 0 6


Coaching career

– Started coaching (and as a selector) with his club Masterton in 1966-67 and did it again between 1975 and 1978
– Coached Wairapapa-Bush from 1980 to 1982, taking the province to the first division in two years.
– Became an All Black selector in 1983
– His first test as an All Black coach was against England in 1985
– He was supposed to coach the All Blacks in South Africa in 1985, but the tour was cancelled following a legal challenge
– He coached New Zealand in Argentina at the end of 1985
– Turned down the offer to coach the unofficial Cavaliers tour to South Africa
– Coached the Southern Hemisphere XV against the Northern Hemisphere at the IRFB Centenary celebrations in 1986.
– Led New Zealand to the inaugural Rugby World Cup title in 1987
– He retired after winning the Bledisloe Cup in 1987

Coaching summary for New Zealand (tests only)

01/06/1985 – New Zealand 18-13 England – Head coach
08/06/1985 – New Zealand 42-15 England – Head coach
29/06/1985 – New Zealand 10-9 Australia – Head coach
26/10/1985 – New Zealand 33-20 Argentina – Head coach
02/11/1985 – New Zealand 21-21 Argentina – Head coach
28/06/1986 – New Zealand 18-9 France – Head coach
09/08/1986 – New Zealand 12-13 Australia – Head coach
23/08/1986 – New Zealand 13-12 Australia – Head coach
06/09/1986 – New Zealand 9-22 Australia – Head coach
08/11/1986 – New Zealand 19-7 France – Head coach
15/11/1986 – New Zealand 3-16 France    – Head coach
22/05/1987 – New Zealand 70-6 Italy – Head coach
27/05/1987 – New Zealand 74-13 Fiji – Head coach
01/06/1987 – New Zealand 46-15 Argentina – Head coach
06/06/1987 – New Zealand 30-3 Scotland – Head coach
14/06/1987 – New Zealand 49-6 Wales – Head coach
20/06/1987 – New Zealand 29-9 France – Head coach
25/07/1987 – New Zealand 30-16 Australia – Head coach

Other roles with New Zealand

04/06/1983 – New Zealand v British and Irish Lions – Selector
18/06/1983 – New Zealand v British andIrish Lions – Selector
02/07/1983 – New Zealand v British andIrish Lions – Selector
16/07/1983 – New Zealand v British andIrish Lions – Selector
18/04/1992 – World XV v New Zealand – Team manager
22/04/1992 – World XV v New Zealand – Team manager
25/04/1992 – World XV v New Zealand – Team manager
27/05/1995 – New Zealand v Ireland – Assistant manager
04/06/1995 – New Zealand v Japan – Assistant manager
11/06/1995 – New Zealand v Scotland – Assistant manager
18/06/1995 – New Zealand v England – Assistant manager
24/06/1995 – New Zealand v South Africa – Assistant manager
19/06/2004 – New Zealand v England – Selector
25/06/2005 – New Zealand v British andIrish Lions – Selector
02/07/2005 – New Zealand v British andIrish Lions – Selector
09/07/2005 – New Zealand v British andIrish Lions – Selector
08/09/2007 – New Zealand v Italy – Selector
15/09/200 – New Zealand v Portugal – Selector
23/09/2007 – New Zealand v Scotland – Selector
29/09/2007 – New Zealand v Romania – Selector
06/10/2007 – New Zealand v France – Selector

Career records and highlights

– Played a total of 100 matches for the Masterton club between 1959 and 1970
– Made his representative debut for Wairarapa-Bush, while still a teenager against the 1959 Lions
– Made his All Black debut against Oxford University at the age of 23 in 1963
– His international debut was against England during the 1963-64 tour
– He won 25 New Zealand caps, winning 19, drawing one and losing five matches
– Played the most matches (eight) against South Africa, winning four and losing four
– Played for the WJ Whineray XV in 1966 and for the Centurions Club in 1970
– Selected for the NZRFU President’s XV v All Blacks in 1973
– Played for NZRFU Invitation XV v All Blacks in 1973
– Played for the President’s Overseas XV against an England XV at the RFU Centenary in 1971
– He was appointed All Blacks captain by coach Fred Allen in 1966, winning 15 of his 18 matches as captain for a success rate of 83.33 per cent
– His record as New Zealand coach is equally impressive – played 18, won 14, drawn one and lost three
– Campaign manager for RWC 1995
– Served on many NZRU committees, including the one that secured the crucial All Black contracts when the Game turned professional in 1995
– The NZRU introduced the Lochore Cup for competition among the Heartland unions in 2002

What he said

“The Wairarapa is totally different to anything you are going to find anywhere else in New Zealand and in fact anywhere else in the world for that matter. We are a rugby crazy country; even underdogs like Georgia are going to be a focal point of our region while they are here.”

“I took a bit of a punt on Michael Jones, which worked out fairly well. I hadn’t actually seen a lot of him, but John Hart had been coaching him for Auckland and he convinced us that Michael was as good as anyone out there. He was right. He (Michael) was a real athlete – very young and very shy – but he had the goods. The game plan we decided upon suited him. We needed a link-man. We wanted to play a fast, expansive game. Because we wanted to go wide, the breakdown was vital – and Michael’s speed was key.”

“I don’t like pushing my barrow, but when you’ve got your back to the wall you have to push your barrow, otherwise you’re going to fall over the cliff.”

“I don’t know any person I played rugby with that ever was involved in family violence because the point of playing rugby is that you get rid of your frustrations on the field, because it’s a physical game.”  

“People have always come to me and I have rarely turned them down. I care about New Zealand. I care about New Zealanders. If you can help somebody or you can help the country as a whole, I think you should.”

“You can’t go and ask the public to support you: you have to win them over. You have to demonstrate that they are going to be proud of you, and that’s the only way you can actually win their support.”

“Do things to the best of your ability and if that’s not good enough, you are not going to be lying in bed worried about it.”

What they said

Sir Terry McLean (journalist and author): “His physical fitness was inexhaustible, his anticipation was hawk-like, his resolution was impenetrable. Add this to his catching at the lineout, his total engagement in the tight-loose, his serviceability on defence and you have the picture of a great back-row forward. New Zealand has fielded none better that's for sure.”

Paul Verdon (author, The Power behind the All Blacks: “Brian Lochore would have been guaranteed a place in rugby’s hall of fame if his sole achievement had been to coach the All Blacks to victory in the first World Cup. But he has had many other successes – as a player, as captain of possibly the strongest All Black team ever to tour overseas, as coach of a small union, which he guided into the first division, as a New Zealand selector, as coach of International XVs, and, much later, as campaign manager of an All Black team which raised rugby tactics and skills to dizzying heights at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.”

Sean Fitzpatrick (former All Black hooker and captain): “Brian saw the World Cup as the chance to take the game back to the people. So he made all our training sessions open to the public. Then we set off touring the country, visiting towns all over New Zealand. After the final pool game against Argentina, we disappeared into the bush and were billeted with families on remote farms for a couple of days.”

Additional reporting by the New Zealand Rugby Museum