Loss of former All Black Neville Black mourned by New Zealand Rugby

New Zealand Rugby     26 Jan 2016     New Zealand Rugby

Neville Wyatt Black was born on 25 April 1925 in Kawakawa. After his first season of provincial rugby for Auckland, he was named in the All Blacks squad that toured South Africa in 1949 and appeared in 11 matches, including one Test.

"It is with sadness that we mark the passing of Neville Black," said New Zealand Rugby Chairman Brent Impey.

"We are sure that Neville will be fondly remembered around New Zealand this week and for some time, in particular by the Auckland rugby community of which he was part as well as the rugby league communities with which he was involved. Neville made an important contribution to rugby as a player and served his country well. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."

The versatile Black could appear at either first five-eighth or halfback and was noted for his attacking abilities in both roles. Although he attended high school in Rotorua, it was while at the famous Ponsonby club that Black caught the eye of the Auckland selectors and after seven matches in the blue and white jersey, Black earned a place at the 1949 national trials.

After impressing in the trials, Black was one of three first five-eighths selected in the 1949 All Blacks squad. He made his debut against Western Province Universities in Cape Town and sufficiently impressed over 10 tour matches to earn his Test cap in Durban. His first eight matches were in the number 10 jersey, with three - including his sole Test appearance - at halfback.

He was not required again by the All Blacks selectors but Black continued to turn out for Auckland in 1950 and 1951. Black then accepted an invitation to play league for Wigan and spent six seasons in England. He returned to New Zealand in 1957 where he continued to play league for the Ngongataha club. Black remained a passionate rugby supporter, continuing to back his former team in the modern era.

Black received his All Blacks cap in 2009, when New Zealand Rugby retrospectively presented caps to All Blacks who had made their Test debuts between 1946 and 1996.

For more information, view Neville Black's profile on