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David Kirk

David Edward Kirk
Full name David Edward Kirk
Date of birth (1960-10-05) 5 October 1960
Place of birth Wellington, New Zealand
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 73 kg (11 st 7 lb)
School Wanganui Collegiate
University University of Otago
University of Oxford
Occupation(s) Chief Executive Officer/Director of Rugby
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Halfback
New Zealand No. 843
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1983–87  New Zealand 17 (24)

David Edward Kirk MBE (born 5 October 1960) is a former New Zealand rugby union player. He is best known for having been the captain of the All Blacks when they won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.


  • Early years 1
  • Rugby union career 2
  • After the All Blacks 3
  • Current business roles 4
  • All Blacks statistics 5
  • Notes and references 6
  • External links 7

Early years

Kirk was born in Wellington and grew up in Palmerston North.[1] He was educated at Russell Street School, Wanganui Collegiate School and Selwyn College at the University of Otago, where he graduated with a medical degree MB ChB.

Rugby union career

Kirk played domestic rugby for Otago and Auckland, and first toured with the All Blacks in 1983. He stood out from his fellow players as "urbane, articulate and thoughtful,"[2] and when the planned 1986 All Black tour to South Africa was cancelled David and John Kirwan were the only two players to refuse to join the rebel "Cavaliers" team on moral grounds—he felt that it would give comfort to the apartheid regime.

With the rebels banned from playing in the next two All Black test he captained the so-called "Baby Blacks". On the return of the rebels however, his position was uncomfortable and he was lucky to retain his place in the squad. Despite this, when original captain Andy Dalton had to withdraw with an injury,[3] Kirk was made captain—and led New Zealand to victory over France in the 1987 Rugby World Cup Final.

He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1988 New Year Honours for services to rugby.[4]

After the All Blacks

Kirk abruptly retired from competitive rugby after the World Cup win, at the age of 26, to take up a Rhodes Scholarship at Worcester College, Oxford with a degree in PPE.

After his studies at Oxford, he returned to New Zealand, becoming the coach of the Wellington NPC team in 1993 and 1994 and also a media commentator. A National Party member, he sought the party's nomination for the 1992 Tamaki by-election, losing to Clem Simich.[5] Kirk was also a staffer for Prime Minister Jim Bolger, and worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

From October 2005 to December 2008[6] he was Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Media—publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review in Australia; and The Dominion Post and The Christchurch Press in New Zealand. On occasions he was also a journalist for Fairfax - commentating on rugby when regular journalists are on strike.

His most recent involvement with rugby came in late 2009, when he led an independent arbitration panel appointed by SANZAR to settle an impasse between its three member unions (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia) over whether the planned 15th franchise in the Super Rugby competition would be awarded to Australia or South Africa, Ultimately, Melbourne was chosen and began play in 2011.

On 24 October 2011, Kirk was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame alongside all other Rugby World Cup-winning captains and head coaches from the tournament's inception in 1987 through to 2007 (minus the previously inducted John Eales).[7]

Current business roles

  • Co-founder and current Managing Partner of Bailador Investment Management
  • Chairman of the Board at The Hoyts Group, a position he has held since July 2009
  • Chairman of the Board at Trade Me Group.[8]
  • Chairman of Standard Media Index Ltd (investee of Bailador).

He is also a director of a number of companies, including:

  • Forsyth Barr Ltd[9]
  • Pacific Fibre Ltd
  • Viocorp International Ltd (investee of Bailador)

All Blacks statistics

Tests: 17 (11 as Captain)
Games: 17 (0 as Captain)
Total Matches: 34 (11 as Captain)
Test Points: 24pts (6t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)
Game Points: 44pts (11t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)
Total Points: 68pts (17t, 0c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)

Notes and references

  1. ^ Fairfax NZ News (26 January 2009). "David Kirk now half Australian". stuff (Fairfax). Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Rugby Heroes
  3. ^ "All Blacks At The World Cup". All Blacks. 26 November 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2007. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51173. p. 33. 30 December 1987.
  5. ^ Hubbard, Anthony (29 May 2011). "David Kirk tells of life after rugby". Stuff. Fairfax. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "RWC legends inducted into IRB Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  8. ^ /091111TradeMeIPOlodged.pdf
  9. ^ "David Kirk appointed to Forsyth Barr board", 2009, NZ Herald

External links

  • David Kirk profile at New Zealand Rugby Museum
  • "Whole new ball game" — Sydney Morning Herald biography published 27 August 2005
  • David Kirk at
  • ESPN Profile
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