TACKLING NEW ZEALAND RUGBY’S CHALLENGES HEAD ON

New Zealand Rugby Union president Max Spence and New Zealand Rugby Union’s newest board member Wayne Young are our special guests on absolutelyfamous and both men from grass roots backgrounds are well qualified to serve on the board.

MAX SPENCE - NZ RUGBY UNION PRESIDENT.

As well as being successful businessmen, they know as much as anyone the challenges facing rugby in New Zealand including club rugby, NPC, Super rugby and at the highest level, test rugby, all of these areas facing challenges but ones that are being worked on.

Both Max and Wayne are legends in their respective provinces, Max hailing from Nelson and Wayne from Marlborough.

Max Spence was one of the main driving forces behind the formation of the Tasman Rugby Union and it was his expertise, vision and ability to communicate with people at all levels of rugby that was instrumental in getting New Zealand’s newest union started and it was no easy task trying to marry up two historic arch onfield rivals. 

He was a player and administrator for the Stoke premier men’s team in Nelson, was chairman of the Nelson Bays union and served on the Crusaders board from 1999-2010 and was the inaugural Tasman Rugby Union chairman from 2006-2008.

WAYNE YOUNG - NZRU BOARD MEMBER

Wayne Young also played a key role in convincing Marlborough stakeholders to go with the Tasman concept, the union formed in 2006 and history shows that after some shaky times, the Tasman Mako is now one of the top ranked NPC teams in the country having twice won the major championship title and featured in six grand finals.

Wayne is a long serving player/administrator from the Central Rugby Club in Blenheim. He is a former Marlborough Red Devils halfback and played his last game of senior rugby at age 48 for the Central reserves team which he currently coaches. 

He previously also served on the Tasman board and is extremely passionate about improving the health of community rugby at grass roots level and in trying to keep teenagers in the game.

Listen to my (John Alexander) interview with Max and Wayne when they were in Christchurch having watched the Crusaders dismantle the Blues the night before in the Pacific Super rugby semifinal 52-15.

We discuss various rugby issues from test rugby to club rugby and the huge growth of women’s rugby.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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