Jesse Wood / NZ Herald

Melville Rugby Club played out a 29-all draw with Morrinsville Sports on Wednesday night, with former All Black Carlos Spencer making a surprise cameo on the pitch.


“King Carlos” came off the bench in the last 10 minutes, donning the number 19 jersey for Melville.

Spencer, 44, left his position as assistant coach at the Hurricanes last week and has taken on a new role as assistant coach for the Melville side in Waikato’s Premiership A division.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer
Ross Karl is joined by Super Rugby players from across Aotearoa/New Zealand as they discuss the current comp and all the goings-on around it.

Spencer wasn’t named in the original team naming, so his appearance was somewhat of a surprise.

“Seeing Carlos on the field was great last night, very inspirational and encouraging for others. He looked in incredible shape, unfortunately not a lot came his way for the 10 or so minutes he was on, and so we didn’t see his ‘magic’,” said referee Aaron Paterson.

Full Time at Collins Road Morrinsville Sports 29Melville 29With Carlos Spencer taking the field for Melville!!!

Posted by Morrinsville Rugby and Sports Club on Wednesday, 8 July 2020

“As a referee, I didn’t speak to him in the match but could hear his organising of Melville’s backline with lots of clear communication.


“Speaking to club members afterwards, they commented on his humbleness and willingness to help the club where he could. His focus is to assist existing coach Boots [Wayne Bootten], in a secondary role.

“A team member also commented that he was initially in awe of Carlos but soon realised he is just a normal bloke with high standards and immense knowledge.”

Spencer last week revealed why he parted ways with the Hurricanes three games into the Super Rugby Aotearoa season.

The Hurricanes said in a statement that the backs coach would leave the club immediately “due to the financial uncertainty created by Covid-19”.


Spencer joined the Hurricanes staff at the start of 2019 after a stint with Sanix Blues in Japan.

Spencer has revealed he was told by the Hurricanes he would be made redundant at the conclusion of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season and decided to walk early.

“Unfortunate times at the moment but was told at the start of lockdown there could be a possibility of losing my job due to finances and uncertainty next year,” Spencer said in a statement to NZME.

“[I] was told last week that due to these reasons I would be made redundant at the end of August. Rather than carry on and finish off the competition I saw this as an opportunity to spend some well needed time with the family and sort out what our next move is,” he added.

“[I’m] In no hurry to make any decisions, just want to enjoy time with the family and finally get to watch my kids play some sport,” Spencer said.

Melville sit in third on the Waikato Premiership A ladder while Morrinsville are in eighth place.

On Saturday they will take on Hamilton Marist at Marist Park. Kick-off is at 2.45pm.

This article first appeared on and is republished with permission.

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now