|Birth name||Frederick Richard Allen|
|Date of birth||9 February 1920|
|Place of birth||Oamaru, New Zealand|
|Date of death||28 April 2012(aged 92)|
|Place of death||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||79 kg (174 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
Allen was born in Oamaru, New Zealand. He was educated in Christchurch (though he did not attend secondary school), and played for the Linwood club. After captaining the Canterbury Colts in 1938, he was selected for Canterbury in 1939. During World War II Allen served as a lieutenant in the 27th and 30th Battalions in the Pacific and Italy. He played for service teams including the 2nd NZEF "Kiwis" Army team that toured Britain following the war.
When he returned to New Zealand he settled in Auckland as a women's clothing manufacturer. He played for Auckland Grammar Old Boys 1946–48, and was selected for the All Blacks in 1946. In 1949 he was selected as captain of the All Blacks for the 1949 tour to South Africa. Although each test match was very close, the All Blacks lost the series 4–0. Allen retired from playing after the series.
Allen went on to coach, and was a selector-coach for Auckland during their Ranfurly Shield era of the late 1950s. He became an All Blacks selector, before becoming All Blacks coach in 1966. A fierce but very effective coach, Allen picked up the nickname of "The Needle". The All Blacks' reign under Allen was the team's most successful; they won all 14 of their tests with him as coach. The New Zealand Rugby Football Union awarded Allen the Steinlager Salver in 2002, and in 2005 Allen was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
In the 1991 New Year Honours, Allen was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to rugby. In the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM), also for services to rugby.
All Blacks statistics
Tests: 6 (6 as Captain)
Games: 15 (15 as Captain)
Total Matches: 21 (21 as Captain)
Test Points: 0pts
Game Points: 21pts (7t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)
Total Points: 21pts (7t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)
Notes and references
Fred the Needle: the untold story of Sir Fred Allen the authorised biography by Alan Sayers and Les Watkins (2011. Auckland, Hodder Moa)
- This record of 14 wins in 14 tests was later equalled in South Africa by Kitch Christie.
- "No. 52383". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1990. p. 30.
- "Queen's Birthday honours list 2010". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
- "Oldest All Black McHugh dies". The New Zealand Herald. 28 September 2010.
- "Death of Fred the 'Needle'". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- Fred Allen at AllBlacks.com
- Fred Allen at ESPNscrum
- Fred Allen at the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame
- rugbymuseum.co.nz profile
- International Rugby Hall of Fame profile
- "Auckland honours NZ All Black great", newzealand.com, 9 February 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
- Death of Fred Allen (Stuff NZ)
- Sir Fred Allen photo (Stuff NZ)[permanent dead link]
- Fred Allen's funeral; video (Stuff NZ)[permanent dead link]
- Fred Allen visits Ypres (Stuff NZ)
- Fred Allen knighted (Stuff NZ)
- A Picton boy who played with Fred Allen in 1942 (Stuff NZ)