Willie Poching

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Willie Poching
Willie Poching.jpg
Personal information
Full name William Mila Poching[1]
Born (1973-08-30) 30 August 1973 (age 43)
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 103 kg (16 st 3 lb)
Playing information
Position Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Marist Saints
Mount Albert Lions
1993 Northcote Tigers
1995 Auckland Warriors 2 1 0 0 4
1996 North Queensland Cowboys 16 0 2 0 4
1997 Hunter Mariners 13 3 1 0 14
1998 St. George Dragons 4 1 0 0 4
1999–01 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 69 20 0 0 80
2002–06 Leeds Rhinos 132 45 0 0 180
Total 236 70 3 0 286
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1992–93 Auckland 4
1994–00 Samoa 6 0 2 0 4
2005 New Zealand 1
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2009– Samoa 1 0 0 1 0
Source: [2]

Willie Poching is a New Zealand professional rugby league football coach and former player. He is the current coach of Samoa national team and assistant coach of English Super League club Salford Red Devils. A former New Zealand and Samoa international representative forward, he spent his career playing for clubs in New Zealand, Australia and finally England, winning the Super League championship with Leeds in 2004.

Playing career[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

Poching played for the Northcote Tigers, Marist Saints and Mount Albert Lions in the Auckland Rugby League competition.[3] He made the Junior Kiwis in 1991 and captained the side in 1992. He played in 4 games for Auckland between 1992 and 1993, before signing a junior contract with the Brisbane Broncos for 1994. During that year he toured New Zealand with Western Samoa and captained them in a game against a Manawatu XIII.[4] Poching represented the Junior Kiwis in 1991 and 1992, captaining the side in 1992.

He joined the Auckland Warriors in 1995, however he only played two games for the club however and was not re-signed for the 1996 season. Poching played for Western Samoa at the 1995 World Cup and also captained Samoa during their 2000 World Cup.


Over his long career Poching played for Wakefield Trinity (captain) (Heritage № 1144) and was a huge crowd favourite and was club captain for his final season. He then joined Leeds in the European Super League. Poching played for the Leeds Rhinos from the interchange bench in their 2004 Super League Grand Final victory against the Bradford Bulls. As Super League IX champions, the Rhinos faced 2004 NRL season premiers, the Bulldogs in the 2005 World Club Challenge. Poching played from the interchange bench, scoring a try in Leeds' 39-32 victory. Poching played for Leeds in the 2005 Challenge Cup Final from the interchange bench in their loss against Hull F.C..[5] He played for the Leeds Rhinos at second-row forward in their 2005 Super League Grand Final loss against Bradford Bulls. He played his single game for New Zealand against England at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington during the 2005 Tri-Nations campaign.

Poching was forced to retire due to injury at the completion of 2006 season.

Coaching career[edit]

Poching was the academy coach at Leeds as well as the head coach of Samoa.[6] He moved from Leeds to become assistant coach to Tony Smith at the Warrington Wolves in the 2010 post season, and coached the team to win the League Leader's Shield in 2011, Challenge Cup in 2012, and to two Grand Final defeats in 2012 (to Leeds Rhinos) and 2013 (to Wigan Warriors). Willie has signed as assistant coach at the Salford Red Devils for the 2017 season.


  1. ^ POCHING, WILLIAM MILA 2005 - KIWI #724 nzleague.co.nz
  2. ^ Rugby League Project
  3. ^ Richard Becht. A New Breed Rising: The Warriors Winfield Cup Challenge. Auckland, HarperCollins, 1994. ISBN 1-86950-154-3. p.183
  4. ^ Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1994, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1994. p.50
  5. ^ "Hull stun Leeds in Challenge Cup". BBC News. 27 August 2005. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Poching names strong Samoan squad therhinos.co.uk, 6 October 2009

External links[edit]