Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Ian Kirkpatrick is a former All Blacks captain and one of the best flankers to ever play the game.

Ian Kirkpatrick Bio

Ian Kirkpatrick is widely regarded as one of the greatest flankers to ever play rugby. A formidable player for Poverty Bay, Canterbury and the All Blacks, he was one of the greats of the game in the 1960s and 70s. Ian Kirkpatrick was inducted into the RugbyPass Hall of Fame in 2021.

Born 24 May 1946, Ian Kirkpatrick began his first-class career at the age of 20, when he first represented Poverty Bay. However, only a year later he moved to Canterbury, where he stayed until 1969. Following this, he returned to Poverty Bay once more, where he stayed until his retirement in 1979. During this period, he earned a rare distinction. To date, Ian Kirkpatrick remains the only man to have captained both of New Zealand’s islands: the South in 1969 with Canterbury and then the North (in 1972–73) at Poverty Bay.

Ian Kirkpatrick enjoyed a highly distinguished domestic career. As a result, even though he had only played domestic rugby for one full season, he was called up to represent the All Blacks in 1967. He went on to make 39 appearances for the side and was named as the New Zealand captain in 1972.

By the time he retired from the game in 1979, Ian Kirkpatrick had played a total of 289 first-class games and scored 115 tries. Described as “supremely athletic, fast, fearless and with an uncanny sense of anticipation”, he was a true pioneer of the game. During his era, it was unusual for forwards to score tries, but his 16 tries remained an All Black record until 1983.

Since retiring from rugby, Ian Kirkpatrick has remained involved in the game. He was a mentor with the Hurricanes Super Rugby franchise from 2005 to 2010 and he’s now the patron of New Zealand Rugby. Due to his services to rugby, he’s been appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire and has been inducted into both the International Rugby Hall of Fame (2003) and the World Rugby Hall of Fame (2014).