Wayne Thomas Shelford
13 December 1957
Rotorua, New Zealand
|Education||Western Heights High School|
|Relatives||Darrall Shelford (brother)|
Frank Shelford (uncle)
Adrian Shelford (cousin)
Exia Shelford (cousin)
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2+1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||107 kg (16 st 12 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
Wayne Thomas "Buck" Shelford rugby union footballer and coach who represented and captained New Zealand (the All Blacks) in the late 1980s. He is also credited with revitalising the performance of the All Blacks' traditional "Ka Mate" haka.(born 13 December 1957) is a former New Zealand
After playing for Western Heights High School First XV, Shelford was selected for the Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools and Auckland age grade sides, and made his Auckland provincial debut in 1982. In 1985, when the North Harbour Rugby Union was created, he moved with it as his club side was a member. This was the same year he was first selected for the All Blacks, for the later abandoned South Africa tour.
Shelford's first game for the All Blacks was against Club Atlético San Isidro in Buenos Aires on 12 October 1985. He then joined the unauthorised Cavaliers tour of South Africa in 1986, which included 28 of the 30 players selected for the original tour.
Shelford made his Test debut for the All Blacks later that year against France in a 19–7 victory in Toulouse, and then was a notable victim of the infamous "Battle of Nantes" in the second Test. Roughly 20 minutes into the match, he was caught at the bottom of a rather aggressive ruck, and an errant French boot found its way into Shelford's groin, somehow ripping his scrotum and leaving one testicle hanging free. He also lost four teeth in the process. Incredibly, after discovering the injury to his scrotum, he calmly asked the physio to stitch up the tear and returned to the field before a blow to his head left him concussed. He was substituted and watched the remainder of the game from the grandstand where he witnessed the All Blacks lose 16–3.
In 1987, the first Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand. Shelford played in five of the six All Blacks games and was a member of the team that won the final against France 29–9. He was involved in an incident during the semi-final match against Wales that saw Huw Richards become the first player to be sent off in the tournament. Richards had punched All Black lock Gary Whetton after a loose scrum and Shelford reacted in defence of his team mate, landing a blow that knocked Richards to the ground. Shelford escaped punishment while Richards left the field.
Shelford took over as All Black captain after the World Cup, first captaining the side during the 1987 tour of Japan. During his captaincy from 1987 to 1990, the All Blacks did not lose a game, only drawing once against Australia in 1988.
Upon becoming captain, Shelford brought his teammates to Te Aute College, a Māori school, to see the students perform a traditional haka. Although the All Blacks had been performing the haka at the start of their matches since the team's inception, it was Shelford who taught them the proper way to perform the "Ka Mate," haka.
In 1990, the All Blacks’ selectors decided that Shelford was not up to the standard for the team and was controversially dropped after the test series against Scotland. The general public were unhappy with this decision, especially when the All Blacks lost the third test of their next series against Australia, ending a 17-test winning streak (and 49 game streak including non-tests) . After this fans started appearing at games with signs saying "Bring Back Buck", which continues even to this day at sporting events throughout the world.
Although Shelford never regained his place in the All Blacks side, he was the captain of the New Zealand XV that played Romania in the Soviet Union and New Zealand B team that played Australia. He had played 48 All Blacks games including 22 tests and had captained the side 31 times, including 14 tests. He also scored 22 tries in total in his All Blacks career.
Shelford moved to England to play for Northampton, helping to revitalise a team languishing at the lower end of the first division and inspiring them to their first Pilkington Cup final. He retired from playing all rugby in 1995 after a spell at the Rugby Roma, in the Italian Championship and coached for some time in Britain, including spells at Saracens and Rugby Lions. He returned to New Zealand and was the assistant coach of the North Harbour team in 1997 and coach in 1998. Currently Shelford is coaching at his former club North Shore in Devonport.
In 2020, he became the host, assistant coach and emergency player for All Blacks Alumni in Match Fit, a reality documentary series to train retired All Blacks back into shape against the current New Zealand Barbarians squad of former internationals.
On 23 June 2007, Shelford revealed that he was receiving treatment for the form of cancer known as lymphoma. He told Newstalk ZB's Murray Deaker that he wanted his privacy respected as he focused on his recovery and said he would not be making any further personal statements. He recovered fully from the cancer.
- "New Zealand Factfile". CNN. 28 October 1999. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
- Soneji, Pranav (24 October 2002). "Buck's All Blacks fizz". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- Richards, Huw. An unfortunate claim to fame. ESPN Scrum. SFMS Limited. 7 October 2010. Accessed 8 October 2011.
- Buck put bang back into haka, Sunday News, stuff.co.nz, 31 January 2009
- "No. 52383". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1990. p. 30.
- Rossano Emanuele (25 March 1995). "A video spento le mete per lo scudetto" [Without TV Coverage the Tries for the Italian Title]. Corriere della Sera. Milan. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- "Match Fit". www.threenow.co.nz. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
- Sportsmen lead Ngapuhi revival, New Zealand Hearld, 20 June 2001
- "Shelford receiving cancer treatment". One News. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
| All Blacks Captain
| Tom French Memorial
Māori rugby union player of the year
1987, 1988, 1989