|Birth name||Rico Levi Gear|
|Date of birth||26 February 1978|
|Place of birth||Gisborne, New Zealand|
|Height||179 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||92 kg (14 st 7 lb; 203 lb)|
|School||Gisborne Boys' High School|
|Notable relative(s)||Hosea Gear (brother)|
|Rugby union career|
Gear was educated at Gisborne Boys' High. As a young man Gear also played for the Tolaga Bay rugby union club just outside Gisborne. In 1990 Gear played for the Gisborne East Coast under 13 rugby league team. He also studied anthropology at Massey University with an emphasis on Māoridom and Māori language for two years.
He made his Super 12 debut for the Auckland Blues in 1999 against the Queensland Reds. He also had a stint with the Highlanders, however his career really ignited when he went to the Crusaders at the end of the 2004 season.
Gear played every game in the 2005 season, for the Crusaders, and he scored 15 times for the 2005 champions. He was also named Rebel Sport Super 12 player of the Year and the Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year.
In June 2007 Gear was signed by Guinness Premiership side Worcester Warriors. Gear was regarded as one of the most dangerous and clinical wingers in world rugby and carved up defenses in the Guinness Premiership during the 2008/09 campaign.
He became one of the biggest signings in the club’s long history after agreeing a three-year deal that kept him at Sixways until 2010.
Gear started his Warriors career with four tries in a match on his full debut – equalling the competition record – as Warriors punished Gran Parma and he continued to rack up the tries.
He scored one of the most memorable individual tries ever seen at Sixways Stadium with his solo stunner against Bucuresti and also scored a breathtaking one-handed effort against Harlequins at The Stoop.
Despite being hit by a number of injuries towards the end of the campaign, Gear still finished the season with a staggering record of 12 tries in only 19 appearances for the club and vowing he would show his real form in the 2008/09 term. After Worcester Warriors got relegated after the 2009–2010 season, he signed with Japanese Top League team Kintetsu Liners in April 2010.
Gear made his international debut on 10 July 2004 in a match against the Pacific Islanders, where he also scored a try. He went on to play in numerous matches against the British and Irish Lions in their 2005 tour of New Zealand. He scored his first All Blacks hat-trick against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2005. He also played in the 2006 Tri Nations.
He won a Commonwealth Games gold medal when he was part of the New Zealand Sevens side and also has World Cup Sevens medals.
In all he scored 11 tries in 19 tests for the All Blacks including a hat trick against Wales at Cardiff and 2 against Scotland on the same tour.
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1990 New Zealand Rugby League, 1990. p.145
- Rico Gear at AllBlacks.com
- Worcester Warriors Profile at Warriors.co.uk
- Guinness Premiership Profile at GuinnessPremiership.com
|Tom French Memorial
Māori rugby union player of the year