Burke, NZ coach in 1981 Springboks series, dies aged 90

By on October 2, 2017


New Zealand Rugby confirmed Monday that Burke had died at his home in New Plymouth, where he had been cared for by his three daughters. The cause of death was not specified. (Photo: All Blacks/Facebook)
New Zealand Rugby confirmed Monday that Burke had died at his home in New Plymouth, where he had been cared for by his three daughters. The cause of death was not specified. (Photo: All Blacks/Facebook)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Peter Burke, who coached the All Blacks to victory in the contentious 1981 test series against the Springboks, has died. He was 90.

New Zealand Rugby confirmed Monday that Burke had died at his home in New Plymouth, where he had been cared for by his three daughters. The cause of death was not specified.

Burke played three tests among 12 matches for the All Blacks as a lock or backrower in an international career which stretched from 1951 to 1957. He went on to make a larger impact as a coach and administrator for Taranaki province and New Zealand.

Burke coached the All Blacks against Scotland in 1981, then in the test series against the Springboks which played out against a background of violent protest against South Africa’s apartheid system. New Zealand won the series 2-1, playing in stadiums ringed by barbed wire.