Lance Hohaia

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Lance Hohaia
Lance Hohaia NewZealand.JPG
Hohaia playing for New Zealand in 2009
Personal information
Full nameLance Koro Hohaia[1]
Born (1983-04-01) 1 April 1983 (age 35)
Hamilton, New Zealand
Playing information
Height175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight86 kg (13 st 8 lb)
PositionFive-eighth, Fullback, Hooker, Halfback, Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2002–11 New Zealand Warriors 185 57 64 1 357
2012–15 St Helens 81 22 0 1 89
Total 266 79 64 2 446
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2002–11 New Zealand 28 11 8 0 60
2012–13 Exiles 2 0 0 0 0
Source: [2][3]

Lance Koro Hohaia (born 1 April 1983) is a New Zealand former professional rugby league footballer. A New Zealand national representative utility back, he played in the National Rugby League for the New Zealand Warriors and the European Super League for St. Helens, with whom he won the 2014 Super League championship. In 2008 Hohaia was a member of the World Cup winning New Zealand team.[3]

Early years[edit]

Hohaia was born in Hamilton on New Zealand's North Island, but grew up in the town of Huntly, where he started to play for Huntly South Rugby League Club at the age of six, in 1989. The following year, he joined Taniwharau Rugby League Club.[5]

Hohaia attended Huntly Primary, and Southwell School and St Paul's Collegiate School, both in Hamilton.[5][6] Rugby union was the winter sport at Southwell, and at St Paul's, Hohaia played union for the school on Saturdays and league for Taniwharau on Sundays. He played his first senior game for Taniwharau in 2001, aged 17.[5] Hohaia represented Waikato in 2001 and was also selected for the Northern Districts side that lost to the touring French side.[7] After six Premier Division games for Taniwharau, he signed for Manurewa Marlins.[5]

Playing career[edit]

National Rugby League[edit]

Lance was signed by the New Zealand Warriors and he moved up to Auckland. He made his début in Round 4 2002 against the North Queensland Cowboys. Hohaia played for the Warriors from the interchange bench in their 2002 NRL Grand Final loss to the Sydney Roosters. Hohaia also made his international début for the Kiwis in 2002.

Hohaia had great utility value and was often used by the Warriors at dummy half. However this utility value worked against Lance, as he struggled to claim a regular starting spot in the Warriors lineup and was often in and out of the team. When not selected by the first grade side he has played for the Manurewa Marlins, Waicoa Bay Stallions and Auckland Vulcans in the Bartercard Cup and NSWRL Premier League.

In 2007 Hohaia spent most of the season at centre, due to injuries to the outside backs. However, in 2007 he was again selected for the Kiwis, this time for their tour of Great Britain. At the end of the season the Catalans Dragons were rumored to be interested in signing Hohaia to replace the retiring Stacey Jones, however Hohaia ultimately stayed with the Warriors.[8]

In 2008, Hohaia took over the fullback role from the injured Wade McKinnon. In August 2008, Hohaia was named in the New Zealand training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.[9] Hohaia was promising in McKinnon's absence leaving a dispute whether he should be played at fullback for the 2008 preliminary final. In October 2008, he was named in the final 24-man Kiwi squad.[10] He played at fullback in every one of New Zealand's matches, including their victory in the final.

Lance Hohaia running into the Papua New Guinea defence while representing New Zealand during the 2008 Rugby League World Cup

In 2009, Hohaia was injured in the first game of the season against the Eels, He made his comeback in round 5 against the Roosters where he played fullback in Wade McKinnon's absence. Hohaia was named at fullback in the mid season ANZAC Test against the Kangaroos. He also was selected for the Kiwis 24 man squad for the Four Nations tournament in Europe. He was selected to play fullback against both Tonga and Australia and won the man of the match award in the test vs Australia. In the Four Nations tournament, he appeared at fullback during most of the games and was one of the Kiwis' best players in the tournament. His efforts earnt him a try against Australia and a double against France; one of which was a one hundred metre dash.

In 2010, Hohaia became the first-choice fullback ahead of Wade McKinnon. He played his 150th first grade game for the club. On 12 April 2011, it was announced that Hohaia had signed a 4-year contract with Super League club, St. Helens from 2012.[11] For the 2010 Anzac Test, Hohaia was selected to play for New Zealand at fullback in their loss against Australia.

Super League[edit]

Whilst playing for English club St. Helens, Hohaia was selected to play for the Exiles against England in the first game of the 2012 International Origin series as the hooker by coach Daniel Anderson.

St. Helens reached the 2014 Super League Grand Final and Hohaia was selected to play at stand-off. He was punched unconscious by Ben Flower in the first few minutes of the match and had to leave the field for the remainder of the 14-6 victory over Wigan Warriors.[12]

He retired from rugby on 29 April 2015 because of recurrent concussion symptoms.[13][14] Post retirement from rugby he moved to Michigan.[15]


In 2015, he was named as Taniwharau's best player of their first 70 years.[16]


  1. ^ HOHAIA, Lance (2002 - 2011) Warriors #99
  2. ^ loverugbyleague
  3. ^ a b "Statistics at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ New Zealand Rugby League, The 2009 Kiwis (Auckland, Sentra Printing 2009) p.12
  5. ^ a b c d Hohaia, Rex (10 March 2016). "Lance Koro Hohaia - the Early Years" (PDF). Sir Peter Leitch's Mad Butcher Club Newsletter. 112: 13. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  6. ^ World Cup Stars for Vodafone Warriors trial in Hamilton Warriors Official Site
  7. ^ Waikato five to play France Waikato Times, 6 June 2001
  8. ^ Head left hanging as Catalans line up swoop for Hohaia Archived 2007-10-20 at the Wayback Machine. League HQ, 19 October 2007
  9. ^ "Kiwis select Sonny Bill". Sky Sports. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
  10. ^ "Kiwis to wait on Webb and Matai". BBC. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  11. ^ Hohaia leaves Warriors for St Helens Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine., 12 April 2011
  12. ^ Cartwright, Phil (11 October 2014). "St Helens v Wigan as it happened". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Lance Hohaia: St Helens half-back announces retirement". BBC Sport. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  14. ^ Fox, Kieran (29 April 2015). "Lance Hohaia retires because of 'recurrent concussion symptoms'". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  15. ^ how lance hohaaia reinvented himself.
  16. ^ AARON GOILE (3 February 2015). "Lance Hohaia named Taniwharau rugby league club's best". Stuff.

External links[edit]