Rico Gear has earned a spot amongst the best of New Zealand’s wings, with the ability to create and finish tries at a regular clip. Gisborne-born Gear finished the 2007 Rebel Sport Super 14 season with 94 first-class tries to his name. Gear goes into the IRB Pacific Nations Cup with his seven tries in the 2007 Super 14 being the most by any member of the 2007 Junior All Blacks squad. It will be the first time he has played for the Junior All Blacks, having played for just about every other national team in his career. Gear finished the 2006 Super 14 as the champion Crusaders’ top try scorer, with eight, including a pair in the semifinal. This followed his Super 14 try-scoring record-equalling effort in 2005, when he dotted down 15 times. His total of seven tries for the All Blacks in 2005 was tied with Doug Howlett’s for second-best on the team. The only 2005 All Black to play for a Division Two team (Nelson Bays), Gear has previously played for Poverty Bay, Auckland, Bay of Plenty and North Harbour, while he has also played Super 12 rugby for the Blues and Highlanders. He is a member of the Te Aitanga a Makaki sub-tribe of the Ngati Porou and the family marae is at Mangatu. NZRU Annual Awards Richard Crawshaw Memorial Trophy for Sevens Player of the Year, 1998 Rebel Sport Super 12 Player of the Year, 2005 Tom French Cup for Maori Player of the Year, 2005 New Zealand Representative Teams New Zealand Under 19 in 1997 New Zealand Under 21 in 1998, 1999 New Zealand Sevens in 1998, 1999, 2001 New Zealand A in 2000 New Zealand Maori in 2002, 2003, 2005 New Zealand Barbarians in 2003 All Blacks in 2004, 2005, 2006 Career Notes • Scored his first All Blacks hat-trick in 2005, against Wales at Cardiff. • Scored two tries for eventual runners-up Nelson Bays in the 2005 Air New Zealand NPC Division Two final. • Led, by a comfortable margin, all New Zealand players with 25 first-class tries in 2005. • Played for New Zealand Maori against the British & Irish Lions in 2005 – one of the few players to face the Lions four times. • In the All Blacks final match of 2004, he became just the third All Black to score two tries in a match against the Barbarians. • Played intermittently at centre for the Blues in 2004. • Has represented New Zealand Sevens at nine International Sevens tournaments and won a gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. • Inaugural winner of the Richard Crawshaw Trophy for Sevens Player of the Year in 1998.
10/07/2004 v Pacific Islanders at Albany
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Match Record by Year (+) = substitute; (-) = replaced 2004 Jul 10 v Pacific Islanders at Albany 41-26 Nov 13 v Italy at Rome 59-10 (-) 2005 Jun 25 v British & Irish Lions at Christchurch 21-3 (+) Jul 2 v British & Irish Lions at Wellington 48-18 Jul 9 v British & Irish Lions at Auckland 38-19 Aug 7 v South Africa at Cape Town 16-22 Aug 13 v Australia at Sydney 30-13 Aug 27 v South Africa at Dunedin 31-27 Nov 5 v Wales at Cardiff 41-3 (-) Nov 26 v Scotland at Edinburgh 29-10 2006 Jun 24 v Argentina at Buenos Aires 25-19 Jul 8 v Australia at Christchurch 32-12 Jul 29 v Australia at Brisbane 13-9 Aug 26 v South Africa at Pretoria 45-26 Nov 6 v England at London 41-20 (-) Nov 26 v Wales at Cardiff 45-10 2007 16 Jun v Canada at Hamilton 64-13 (+) 30 June v Australia at Melbourne 15-20 Below figures correct at beginning of the 2007 rugby calendar: Provincial Caps 55 Provincial Debut 1997 v King Country (Poverty Bay) Super 14 Caps 68 Super 14 Points 165 33t) Super 14 Debut 1999 v Reds (Blues)