Fred Allen (rugby union)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Fred Allen (rugby player))

Sir Fred Allen
Allen in 1946
Birth nameFrederick Richard Allen
Date of birth(1920-02-09)9 February 1920
Place of birthOamaru, New Zealand
Date of death28 April 2012(2012-04-28) (aged 92)
Place of deathAuckland, New Zealand
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight79 kg (174 lb)
SchoolPhillipstown School
Rugby union career
Position(s) First five-eighth
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
International career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1946–49 New Zealand 6 (0)
Coaching career
Years Team
New Zealand

Sir Frederick Richard Allen KNZM OBE (9 February 1920 – 28 April 2012) was a captain and coach of the All Blacks, New Zealand's national rugby union team. The All Blacks won all 14 of the test matches they played under his coaching.

Personal life[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

Following the death of Morrie McHugh on 25 September 2010, Allen had been the oldest living All Black.[4]


Allen developed leukaemia and died on 28 April 2012. He had moved into full-time care on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, north of Auckland.[5]

All Blacks statistics[edit]

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[edit]

Fred the Needle: the untold story of Sir Fred Allen the authorised biography by Alan Sayers and Les Watkins (2011. Auckland, Hodder Moa)

  1. ^ This record of 14 wins in 14 tests was later equalled in South Africa by Kitch Christie.
  2. ^ "No. 52383". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1990. p. 30.
  3. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2010". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Oldest All Black McHugh dies". The New Zealand Herald. 28 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Death of Fred the 'Needle'". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 28 April 2012.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by All Blacks coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Oldest living All Black
25 September 2010 – 28 April 2012
Succeeded by