|Full name||Aaron Mervyn Rutane Whittaker|
9 July 1968 |
Christchurch, New Zealand
|Height||163 cm (5 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||80 kg (12 st 8 lb; 180 lb)|
As of 30 December 2008
Aaron Whittaker (born 9 July 1968 in Christchurch, New Zealand) is a former professional rugby league footballer. A New Zealand international representative halfback, he played club football in Australia, England and New Zealand.
Whittaker grew up in Christchurch and was a Schoolboy Kiwi in 1983 before becoming part of the dominant Canterbury rugby league side of the early nineties. The side was coached by Frank Endacott and included future stars such as Whetu Taewa, Quentin Pongia and Brent Stuart. In Christchurch he played for two clubs, the Halswell Hornets and the Riccarton Knights.
His form was impressive enough to land a contract in the NSWRL Premiership, signing with the Illawarra Steelers in 1992. Whittaker played in three games for the club, including a try-scoring effort against the Great Britain touring side, returning to New Zealand at the end of the year.
In 1993 Whittaker was selected for the New Zealand Kiwis. He went on to play thirteen games for the national side, although only three were test matches. During this time he trained with Gary Freeman and Daryl Halligan and this allowed him to improve his halfback and goal kicking skills. In 1994 he was part of the Kiwis tour of Papua New Guinea. Between 1990 and 1994 he played in 17 games for Canterbury, scoring thirteen tries.
In 1994 he played for the Canterbury Cardinals in the new Lion Red Cup and at the half way stage was the competitions leading points scorer. As a result, he began to attract interest from overseas clubs and agreed to a mid-season transfer, joining Wakefield Trinity. He returned to the Cardinals in the English offseason and played in part of the 1995 Lion Red Cup.
Return to New Zealand
After a spell in England he returned to New Zealand, signing for the Auckland Warriors. He played eight first grade games for the Warriors in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, under the clubs new head coach Frank Endacott.
After being released by the Warriors he returned to local football in Canterbury, playing for his old side the Haswell Hornets. In 2001 he was involved in the South Island team that played the touring French side.
He now has 3 children with his wife, his oldest boy following in his footsteps becoming a well-refined league player. His two younger daughters are both sports based as well.
In 2002 he was named the head trainer for the New Zealand 'A' sides tour of France and the United States, a position he retained for the sides 2003 tour of Australia, where he worked under former team mate Terry Hermansson.
- WHITTAKER, AARON MERVYN RUTANE 1993 - 94 - KIWI #648 Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. nzleague.co.nz
- "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- Coffey, John. Canterbury XIII, Christchurch, 1987.
- Canterbury Trampled Over Auckland The Press, 12 September 2008
- Canterbury Rugby League[permanent dead link] Rugby League in New Zealand
- New Zealand Tour of Australia and PNG 1994 The Vault
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.110
- Panthers peaking at right time The Press, 27 July 1998
- Raper's first defeat halts Wigan march The Independent, 3 June 2001
- Teams named for French opener AAP Sports News, 1 June 2001
- Hermansson gets NZ Appointment rleague.com, 8 July 2003.
- 2002 NZ A Archived 2008-07-18 at the Wayback Machine. NZRL Official Site
- Currumbin Eagles JRL