Bert Cooke (rugby)

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For the rugby union and rugby league footballer of the 1940s and '50s for New Zealand Army (RU), Other Nationalities (RL), Leeds, Keighley, and Dewsbury, see Bert Cook (rugby).
Bert Cooke
Albert Edward Cooke - Wairarapa.jpg
W.D. & H.O. Wills cigarette card featuring Bert Cooke
Personal information
Full name Albert Edward Cooke
Nickname Bert
Born (1901-10-05)5 October 1901
Auckland, New Zealand
Died 29 September 1977(1977-09-29) (aged 75)
Auckland, New Zealand
Playing information
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 61.6 kg (136 lb)
Rugby union
Position Second five-eighth
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1923–1925 Grafton RFC
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1923–25 Auckland
1924–30 New Zealand 8 4 0 0 12
1926, 31–32 Hawke's Bay
1927–29 Wairarapa
1930 Wellington
Rugby league
Position Fullback, Centre, Stand-off
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1932–19?? Richmond Rovers
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1932–19?? Auckland
1932–1935 New Zealand 5 2 0 0 6
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1936 Auckland

Albert "Bert" Edward Cooke (5 October 1901 – 29 September 1977) was a New Zealand dual-code international rugby footballer of the 1920s and 1930s, who represented for his country in both rugby union and rugby league.

Early years[edit]

Born in Auckland in 1901, Cooke was the son of Albert Edward Cooke, a hairdresser, and his wife Sarah Jane Cooke (née Peterson).[1] Cooke was educated at Hamilton East Primary and Hamilton Boys' High School.[2]

Rugby union career[edit]

Cooke joined the Grafton rugby union club in 1919 and graduated to senior club rugby in 1923. In that same year he made his Auckland debut and was a reserve for New Zealand against New South Wales. He was then part of the 1924–1925 "Invincibles" side that toured Great Britain. He again played for the All Blacks in 1925 and 1926 but withdrew from the 1928 tour of South Africa for business reasons.[2] He did play twice in 1928 for New Zealand against New South Wales before making his last Test appearances in 1930 against Great Britain.

Cooke played for the North Island in 1931 and spent 1932 with Hawke's Bay, before switching codes. Cooke also represented Wairarapa and Wellington while playing rugby union.[3] He finished his rugby union career with 121 tries in 131 first class matches.[2]

Rugby league career[edit]

Cooke joined the Richmond Rovers club in the Auckland Rugby League competition in 1932 and made an immediate impact, racing away for three tries in the inter-island game only weeks later.[4] He was selected for New Zealand that year against the Great Britain Lions. Cooke also represented Auckland and captained New Zealand in two Test matches against Australia in 1935.[5][6]

He coached Auckland in 1936.[4]

Later years[edit]

With the outbreak of World War II, Cooke joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force and played rugby union for that service in the 1940 Auckland club competition.[2] He died in Auckland in 1977.[2]


  1. ^ McLean, T.P.. "Cooke, Albert Edward". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Luxford, Bob. "Bert Cooke". New Zealand Rugby Union. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Statistics at". 31 December 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909–2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.103.
  5. ^ COOKE, Albert Edward 1932, 1935 – Kiwi #219
  6. ^ "Statistics at". 31 December 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011.