A record-breaking Canterbury representative, Wayne Wallace toured Britain and France twice with the Kiwis and appeared in 11 Tests during the 1980s.
Hornby stalwart Wallace – originally a lock before becoming one of the most influential hookers in New Zealand football – played an unmatched 57 games for Canterbury between 1978 and 1990, while he turned out for South Island 28 times from 1981-87.
Wallace moved towards higher honours by representing New Zealand XIII against Queensland in 1984, before getting a Kiwis call-up for the 1985 tour to Britain and France. The 26-year-old made his Test debut in the drawn third Test against Great Britain, promoted at hooker as Howie Tamati’s streak of 19 consecutive Tests came to an end. He held the spot for the subsequent two-Test series against France.
Wallace was retained for the 1986 series opener against Australia but was supplanted by Taranaki hooker Barry Harvey for the remaining Tests against their archrivals. But Wallace regained the role for the two Tests in Papua New Guinea, scoring a try in the infamous 24-22 loss in the second clash.
Part of a front-row with Hornby prop Ross Taylor and ex-clubmate Adrian Shelford, Wallace played his part in New Zealand’s stunning 13-6 upset of Australia in Brisbane in 1987.
The veteran handled the hooking duties for the Kiwis’ 1988 Test program, scoring another try in a big win against Papua New Guinea, featuring in front of the Christchurch faithful in a memorable win over Great Britain and in the deflating World Cup final loss to Australia at Eden Park.
After falling behind Harvey and Duane Mann in the pecking order during the 1989 home series against Australia, Wallace made another trip to Britain and France and played five matches (no Tests).
His international career concluded, Wallace enjoyed a fairytale finish to his tenure in the Canterbury team in 1990 when he captained the province to historic wins over Great Britain and Auckland. The winner of three premierships with Hornby during the 1980s also bowed out of club football in style by captain-coaching the Panthers to victory over Addington in the 1990 Grand Final.
Wallace stayed on as coach, guiding Hornby to further titles in 1991, 1996-97 and 2001, as well as coaching Christchurch City Shiners in the inaugural Lion Red Cup in 1994.
NEW ZEALAND (1985-89)
11 Tests – 2 tries (8 points)
-1985 Kiwis tour of Britain and France
-1986 Kiwis tour of Australia and Papua New Guinea
-1987 Kiwis tour of Australia and Papua New Guinea
-1989 Kiwis tour of Britain and France