New Zealand Rugby mourns the loss of Eric Anderson     29 Jul 2014    

Eric James Anderson was born on 4 April 1931 in Whakatane. A vigorous forward, Anderson made his All Blacks debut aged 29 years and played in 10 All Blacks matches in 1960.

While Anderson played most of his first class rugby at lock, he was selected for the All Blacks as a prop after impressive performances in the 1960 trials. His appearances all came while on tour in Australia and South Africa in 1960, but injury limited his opportunities after he had made a strong start that included scoring two tries against Western Australia.

A proud Bay of Plenty man, Anderson played for the Bay between 1956 and 1961, appearing in 28 matches. After retiring from playing he moved into administration and took up coaching; from 1974 to 1978 he was the selector-coach of the Bay of Plenty side. A highlight of his time in charge was leading Bay of Plenty to the inaugural National Provincial Championship title in 1976, when the Bay beat Hawke's Bay 10-7 to secure their place at the top of the table.

New Zealand Rugby President Ian MacRae today paid tribute to the contribution that Anderson made to rugby.

"Eric was an excellent rugby player and a proud national and Bay of Plenty representative. The All Blacks jersey is held in immense respect around the world and it was men like Eric that helped earn that respect. He enjoyed a successful playing and coaching career, continuing to give back to rugby long after he'd hung up his boots.

"While we continue to acknowledge and remember his wonderful contribution to rugby, today our thoughts are very much with Eric's family and the Bay of Plenty rugby community," MacRae said.

For more information, view Eric Anderson's profile on