Graeme West

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Graeme West
Personal information
Full name Graeme Leonard West
Born (1953-12-05) 5 December 1953 (age 61)
New Zealand
Playing information
Position Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1971–?? Hawera
1982–91 Wigan 202 49 0 0 196
Total 202 49 0 0 196
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1971–?? Taranaki
1975–85 New Zealand 17 2 0 0 7
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1996 Wigan 22 19 1 2 86
1997–98 Widnes
Total 22 19 1 2 86
Source: RLP

Graeme Leonard West[1] is a New Zealand former rugby league footballer and coach. Standing at six-foot, five inches, he played in the forwards, captaining English club Wigan. West also played representative rugby league for New Zealand and is the father of Super League player, Dwayne West.[2]

Playing career[edit]

West was selected to play for the New Zealand national team in the 1975 World Cup tournament. He was signed by English club Wigan for the 1982-83 Rugby Football League season from New Zealand side Taranaki. He was actually 29 when he signed, though Wigan believed him to be 2 years younger. Within weeks of him making his debut, he played in the 1982-83 John Player Trophy final victory against Leeds. He became captain in 1984, leading Wigan to Wembley for the 1984 Challenge Cup Final, which was lost to Widnes. He captained Wigan to victory in the 1985 Challenge Cup final. West was a non playing substitute for defending champions Wigan in their 1987 World Club Challenge victory against the visiting Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. He retired from the first team in 1989 to lead the reserve 'A' Team as Player/Coach, but made a late appearance against Castleford in 1991 due to injuries and a fixture pile up, scoring a try late in the game that gained a standing ovation.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1994, following the sacking of John Dorahy, West was appointed as coach of Wigan, after fans petitioned for him to get the job. In his first month as coach, at the end of the 1993–94 Rugby Football League season West secured the First Division Premiership Trophy against Castleford, and then travelled with the team to Brisbane, guiding them in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. At the end of his first full season, he and the team won the League Championship, Challenge Cup, Regal Trophy, and Premiership - the 'Grand Slam' of all 4 trophies. Even though Wigan dominated Rugby League from 1985 to 1995, it was the only season the club achieved this feat. He stayed on in that position until February 1997 when, following an early exit from the Challenge Cup in 2 consecutive years, he was replaced by the unsuccessful Eric Hughes.

After leaving Wigan, West spent short spells at Lancashire Lynx and Widnes Vikings.


In 2008 he was named in the Taranaki Rugby League Team of the Century.[3]

West still lives and works in Wigan, but spends part of the year back in his native New Zealand.


  1. ^ WEST, Graeme Leonard 1975, 1979 - 83, 1985 - Kiwi #517
  2. ^ Whalley, John (15 Jun 2000). "St Helens fend off Leigh to capture West". (Telegraph Media Group Limited). Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  3. ^ "Dream team of century is named". Taranaki Daily News. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2011.