Alex Wyllie

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Alex Wyllie

Alexander John Wyllie

(1944-08-30) 30 August 1944 (age 76)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Education St Andrew's College
Relatives Richard Loe (nephew)
Rugby career
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight102 kg (16 st 1 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker
Amateur team(s)
Glenmark ()
Provincial / State sides
19641979 Canterbury 210 ()
National team(s)
19701973 New Zealand 11
Teams coached
New Zealand

Alexander John "Grizz" Wyllie MBE (born 30 August 1944) is a New Zealand rugby union former player and coach.


Wyllie began his first-class career with Canterbury in 1964 and played 210 matches for the province until 1979, serving as captain on over one hundred occasions. During this time, he was an integral part of such exploits for the province as the lifting of the Ranfurly Shield in 1969 from Hawke's Bay and then in 1972 from Auckland as well as captaining the province to wins over international touring sides such as England in 1973, Scotland in 1975 and Ireland in 1976.

Wyllie finally became an All Black in 1970 when he was selected to tour South Africa where he played in the second and third Tests. In the next three years, he played forty matches for New Zealand, including eleven Tests, and was captain on three occasions. Although he was discarded as an All Black after 1973, Wyllie remained a prominent player for Canterbury until 1979.


In 1982, Wyllie became coach of Canterbury and immediately enjoyed success when Canterbury won the Ranfurly Shield from Wellington and went on to hold the trophy for a record-equalling three years. Under his coaching, Canterbury won the National Provincial Championship (NPC) in 1983, and also recorded victories against international teams such as the British Lions in 1983 and the Wallabies in 1986.

In the 1986 New Year Honours, Wyllie was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to rugby football. [1]

Wyllie became a national selector in 1986 and he and his Auckland rival John Hart had significant roles as assistant coaches to Brian Lochore when the All Blacks won the 1987 Rugby World Cup. In 1988 Wyllie succeeded Lochore as coach, much to the annoyance of many, especially in Auckland, who favoured Hart.

Despite initial success as All Black coach, a decline starting in the 1991 season led to the NZRFU appointing Hart as joint coach for the 1991 World Cup. After the unsuccessful campaign, both coaches were overlooked when Laurie Mains was selected as All Black coach.

In 1991 he also appeared as an All Black in the comedy film Old Scores . [2]

Wyllie went on to take various coaching roles in England, Ireland, South Africa and Argentina and from 1996-99 was in charge of the Argentina national side, taking the Pumas to the quarterfinals at the 1999 World Cup.

In June 2009, Wyllie attended the retirement ceremony for Argentina national side Captain, Agustín Pichot. [3]

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  1. "No. 50362". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1985. p. 30.
  2. "Old Scores". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  3. Periodismo Rugby
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Brian Lochore
All Blacks coach
Succeeded by
Laurie Mains