Graeme West

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Graeme West
Personal information
Full name Graeme Leonard West
Born (1953-12-05) 5 December 1953 (age 63)
New Zealand
Playing information
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Position Second-row
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1971–?? Hawera
1982–91 Wigan 202 49 0 0 196
Total 202 49 0 0 196
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1971–?? Taranaki
1975–85 New Zealand 17 2 0 0 7
Coaching information
Club
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] (born 5 December 1953) 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 début, he played Left-Second-row, i.e. number 11, in the 15-4 victory over Leeds in the 1982–83 John Player Trophy Final during the 1982–83 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 22 January 1983.[3] 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.

Graeme West played Left-Second-row, i.e. number 11, and scored a try in Wigan's 18-26 defeat by St. Helens in the 1984 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1984–85 season at Central Park, Wigan, on Sunday 28 October 1984, played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, in Wigan's 34-8 victory over Warrington in the 1985 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1985–86 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens, on Sunday 19 October 1986,[4] and played as an Interchange/Substitute (replacing Prop Shaun Wane), and scored a try in the 28-16 victory Warrington in the 1991 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1987–88 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens, on Sunday 11 October 1987.[5]

Graeme West played Left-Second-row, i.e. number 11, (replaced by Interchange/Substitute Brian Case) in Wigan's 15-4 victory over Leeds in the 1982–83 John Player Trophy Final during the 1982–83 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 22 January 1983,[6] played Left-Second-row in the 11-8 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the 1985–86 John Player Special Trophy Final during the 1985–86 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 11 January 1986,[7] and played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, in the 18-4 victory over Warrington in the 1986–87 John Player Special Trophy Final during the 1986–87 season at Burnden Park, Bolton on Saturday 10 January 1987.[8]

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. 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. West then travelled with Wigan to Brisbane, guiding them in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. During the 1994 Kangaroo tour Wigan hosted a match against the Australian national team but couldn't pull off a win.

West 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 Eric Hughes.

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

Legacy[edit]

In 2008 West was named in the Taranaki Rugby League Team of the Century.[9] He still lived and worked in Wigan up to the early 2010s, but then returned to his native New Zealand.

References[edit]

  1. ^ WEST, Graeme Leonard 1975, 1979 - 83, 1985 - Kiwi #517 nzleague.co.nz
  2. ^ Whalley, John (15 Jun 2000). "St Helens fend off Leigh to capture West". Telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  3. ^ "Classic Match: 1983 John Player Trophy Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "1985-1986 Lancashire Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "1987-1988 Lancashire Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "22nd January 1983: Leeds 4 Wigan 15 (John Player Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "11th January 1986: Wigan 11 Hull KR 8 (John Player Special Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "10th January 1987: Warrington 4 Wigan 18 (John Player Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Dream team of century is named". Taranaki Daily News. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 

Sources[edit]