Frano Botica

Last updated

Frano Botica
Birth nameFrano Michael Botica
Date of birth (1963-08-03) 3 August 1963 (age 57)
Place of birth Mangakino, New Zealand
Height175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight75 kg (11 st 11 lb)
School Westlake Boys High School
Notable relative(s) Ben Botica (son)
Jacob Botica (son)
Rugby league career
Position(s) Fullback, Wing, Five-eighth
Senior career
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1990–95 Wigan 179 (1931)
1995 Auckland 5 (46)
1996 Castleford 21 (190)
National team(s)
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1991–93 New Zealand 7 (50)
Rugby union career
Position(s) First five-eighth
All Black No. 866
Senior career
YearsTeamApps(Points)
North Shore ()
Provincial / State sides
YearsTeamApps(Points)
North Harbour ()
Super Rugby
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1998 Chiefs 1 ()
National team(s)
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1986–1989 New Zealand 7 (6)
1997–1998 Croatia 2

Frano Michael Botica (born 3 August 1963) is a New Zealand-Croatian rugby union and rugby league coach [1] [2] and former player in both codes, who played in the 1980s and 1990s. He is the head coach of the Philippines sevens team.

Contents

He represented New Zealand at both codes, and later also played for Croatia in two rugby union World Cup qualifying matches.

Rugby union

Born in Mangakino, New Zealand, Botica played rugby union for club side North Shore, New Zealand provincial side North Harbour, as well as Llanelli in Wales, and spent a period in France.

Botica played 7 test matches between 1986-89 including two test matches in France. Botica was a member of the All Blacks World Cup winning squad of 1987 and toured with the All Blacks to Britain in 1989 and played in several of the mid-week matches.

Botica appeared for the New Zealand Māori (1985-1989), New Zealand Emerging Players (1985), North Island in the 1986 inter-island match and for the Anzac XV that played the British Lions in Australia in 1989. He even appeared in the Super 12, once for the Chiefs in 1998.

He played for New Zealand sevens in eight international tournaments between 1985 and 1988, and was part of the first New Zealand team to win a Hong Kong Sevens title in 1986.

In the early part of his rugby union career he was a rival to Grant Fox for the All Blacks number 10 jersey. Botica was regarded as more a running player whereas Fox was considered a superior kicker and it was Fox who eventually won the selectors' favour, forcing Botica to the bench and restricting the number of rugby union tests he played. Ironically, after switching codes Botica became known as one of the most dependable goal-kickers in rugby league.

Rugby league

Club career

Botica joined Wigan (Heritage № 855) in British rugby league in 1990. While at Wigan he became a prolific points scorer and the fastest man in the history of British league to reach 1,000 points.

In 1991 he played for the New Zealand Māori side in his first match of rugby league in New Zealand. [3]

During the 1991–92 season, he played for defending champions Wigan on the wing in their 21–4 victory against the visiting Australian champions Penrith in the 1991 World Club Challenge played at Anfield in Liverpool.

During the 1992-93 season, Botica played at Five-eighth for Wigan in the 1992 World Club Challenge against the 1992 Winfield Cup premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. Brisbane became the first Australian side to win the World Club Challenge in England when they defeated Wigan 22–8 at Wigan's Central Park.

Botica played stand-off, and kicked every point in Wigan's 5–4 victory over St. Helens in the 1992 Lancashire Cup Final. [4]

He scored 3 conversions in Wigan's 15–8 victory over Bradford Northern in the 1992–93 Regal Trophy Final, [5] and scored a conversion in the 2–33 defeat by Castleford in the 1993–94 Regal Trophy Final and scored a try and 8 conversions in the 40–10 victory over Warrington in the 1994–95 Regal Trophy Final. [6] Frano Botica holds the records for the most conversions (8) and points (16) in a Regal Trophy (or precursors) Final.

Botica played in the 1994 World Club Challenge against the Broncos again, this time at the ANZ Stadium in Brisbane. Wigan reversed the 1992 result with a 20–14 win in front of a WCC record attendance of 54,220 fans, including a number of Wigan supporters who had travelled to Australia to watch the game. Known as a very accurate goal kicker, Botica kicked four goals from four attempts on the night.

Botica set a new record for most goals in a season for Wigan when he kicked 186 during the 1994–95 Rugby Football League season. [7] He returned to New Zealand to play for the Auckland Warriors during their inaugural year in 1995, before returning to England to play for the Castleford Tigers (Heritage № 727) in 1996. [8]

International

Botica played in seven internationals for New Zealand between 1991 and 1993.

He made his test début at Fullback against France at Carlaw Park in Auckland on 13 June 1991, kicking eight goals as the Kiwis thrashed the visitors 60–6. He then backed that up with a 6-goal performance in the second test in Christchurch. His selection had seen him flown in from England for the series after a dispute between the New Zealand Rugby League and Manly-Warringah over compensation saw in-form test incumbent Matthew Ridge become unavailable. This dispute, and his own solid form, saw Botica keep his spot for the first test of the 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series against Australia in Melbourne where he kicked four goals and helped the Kiwis to a shock 24–8 win over the Kangaroos. Botica played fullback for the Kiwis in all three tests of the series, eventually won 2–1 by Australia who easily won the second test 44–0 at the Sydney Football Stadium before wrapping up the series with a 40–12 win at Lang Park in Brisbane. The goal kicking Kiwi fullback won praise from Australian coach Bob Fulton who proclaimed that he could play as well as any fullback in the Winfield Cup (NSWRL Premiership). Botica kicked six goals from eight attempts (75%) during the test series.

Botica's last two tests came during the Kiwis' 1993 Tour of Great Britain and France. He played on the wing during the last two tests of the series against the Great Britain Lions at his home ground of Central Park in Wigan and at Headingley in Leeds, though the Lions, who had won the first test at Wembley Stadium 17–0, went on to win the series 3–0. He was not selected for the test against France at the end of the tour and would never again play a test for the Kiwis.

Despite eventually becoming a five-eighth in rugby league, Botica spent much of his early time in the 13-aside code, including five of his seven tests for New Zealand, at fullback or on the wing.

Return to union

When rugby union became openly professional, Botica returned to the 15-a-side code to play for Llanelli in Wales and then in France. In 1997 and 1998 he played for Croatia in two World Cup qualifying matches. In his late 30s he returned for the North Harbour Rugby Union in New Zealand and played several matches, mainly off the bench.

Later years

In 2009 Botica worked with the New Zealand Warriors as a kicking coach. [9] Botica's son Ben is a former member of North Harbour's ITM Cup squad, has represented New Zealand Schoolboys, [10] and currently plays for Aviva Premiership side Harlequin F.C. [11] Another of Botica's sons, Jacob, plays for Welsh side Dragons in the Pro14 competition. [12]

In 2016, Botica became head coach of the Philippines national rugby sevens team. [13] He is a real estate agent, working in Auckland. [14]

Related Research Articles

Henry Paul NZ international rugby league & England international rugby union footballer

Henry Paul, also known by the nickname of "HP", is a former dual-code international rugby league and rugby union footballer. Paul represented New Zealand in rugby league and England in rugby union and rugby sevens. He once held the world record for the most consecutive kicks on the field, a record now held by Neil Jenkins. Paul still holds the record of kicking the most goals in a Super League season with 178 for Bradford back in 2001 and the record for the most goals in a game, being 14, when playing for Bradford in 2000.

Kristian John Radlinski MBE is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played mainly as a fullback. He played his entire professional career for his hometown club, Wigan Warriors, making over 300 appearances between 1993 and 2006, and also represented England and Great Britain at international level.

Gary John Connolly is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as a fullback and centre for St Helens, Canterbury Bulldogs, Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos and for the Great Britain national side. In the twilight of his career, he played rugby union for Irish side Munster.

Joseph Paul Lydon is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s, and coached rugby union in the 2000s and 2010s, and rugby league and rugby union administrator of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. He played representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and Lancashire, and at club level for Widnes, Wigan and Eastern Suburbs, as a fullback, wing, centre, or stand-off, has coached representative level rugby union (RU) for England, England Sevens (2001-), was the Team Manager for Wigan (1994–96), Performance Consultant for Waterloo FC (2007-), Chief Executive for Wigan Warriors (2007-), Head of Rugby Performance & Development for Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) (2008-), and Head of International Player Development for Rugby Football Union (RFU) (2013-).

Dean Bell NZ RL coach and former NZ & Maori international rugby league footballer

Dean Bell, also known by the nicknames of "Mean Dean", and "Deano", is a New Zealand former professional rugby league footballer, and coach. A New Zealand international representative centre, he played his club football in England, Australia and New Zealand, but most notably with Wigan, with whom he won seven consecutive Challenge Cup Finals, a Lance Todd Trophy, and a Man of Steel Award. He later coached English club Leeds for two seasons. He is a member of the famous Bell rugby league family that includes George, Ian, Cameron, Glenn, Cathy Bell and Clayton Friend.

Thomas Kelvin "Kel" Coslett is a Welsh former dual-code international rugby union and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s and 1970s, and coached rugby league in the 1970s and 1980s. He played representative level rugby union (RU) for Wales, and at club level for Aberavon RFC and Llanelli RFC, as a goal-kicking full-back, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Wales and Other Nationalities, and at club level for St. Helens (captain), and Rochdale Hornets, as a toe-end kicking style goal-kicking fullback, prop, second-row, or loose forward, i.e. number 1, 8 or 10, 11 or 12, or 13, and coached at club level for Rochdale Hornets, Wigan and St. Helens.

Andy Platt is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played as a prop and second-row forward in the 1980s and 1990s.

Kevin Leslie Iro, also known by the nickname of '"The Beast", is a former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and coached in the 2000s. He played at representative level for New Zealand, Cook Islands, Auckland and Rest of the World, and at club level for Mount Albert, Manly-Warringah, Hunter Mariners and the Auckland Warriors, and in England for Wigan, Leeds and St. Helens, as a wing, centre or stand-off, playing in Challenge Cup finals for all three English teams, and coached at representative level for Cook Islands.

Paul 'Patch' Atcheson is a former Wales international rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and Wales, and at club level for the Widnes Vikings, Wigan, Oldham Bears and St Helens, as a fullback.

Neil Fraser Cowie is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and Wales, and at club level for Rochdale Hornets and Wigan Warriors, as a prop, i.e. number 8 or 10.

Tony Roy Iro is the current head coach of the Cook Islands national rugby league team, and a former rugby league footballer. He is a former New Zealand international player - a veteran of 25 Tests, playing either on the wing or in the second row.

The 1992 World Club Challenge match was contested by the 1991–92 Rugby Football League season champions Wigan and the 1992 NSWRL season's premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. The match took place on Friday night, 30 October in England, during the 1992–93 Rugby Football League season. It was also played less than a week after the 1992 Rugby League World Cup Final. A crowd of 17,764 turned out at Central Park, Wigan for the match which was refereed by New Zealand's Dennis Hale, the same referee as for the World Cup final one week earlier.

George Fairbairn is a Scottish former rugby union and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s, and coached rugby league in the 1980s and 1990s. He played representative level rugby union (RU) for Borders, and at club level for Kelso RFC, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Wigan, winning the Man of Steel Award in 1980, and Hull Kingston Rovers, as a goal-kicking fullback, and coached at representative level rugby league for Scotland, and at club level Wigan, Hull Kingston Rovers, and Huddersfield.

Graeme Leonard West is a New Zealand former rugby league footballer and coach. Standing at six-foot, five inches, he played in the forwards, captaining English club Wigan. West also played representative rugby league for New Zealand and is the father of Super League player, Dwayne West.

Stephen "Steve" Hampson is a former rugby union and professional rugby league footballer who played as a fullback in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and coached rugby league in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.

Derek Whitehead is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s and 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and Lancashire, and at club level for Folly Lane ARLFC, Swinton, Oldham and Warrington, as a goal-kicking fullback, i.e. number 1.

Colin Whitfield is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s, and coached in the 1990s. He played at club level for Salford, Wigan, Halifax, Canterbury-Bankstown and the Rochdale Hornets, as a fullback, wing, or centre, i.e. number 1, 2 or 5, or, 3 or 4, and coached at club level for Widnes.

David Thomas Watson is a New Zealand former rugby league footballer who represented New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s.

The 1991 New Zealand rugby league season was the 84th season of rugby league that had been played in New Zealand. The main feature of the year was the National Provincial Competition that was won by Auckland.

The 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series was an international rugby league test series played in Australia between Australia and New Zealand. The series, which started on 3 July in Melbourne and finished on 31 July in Brisbane, consisted of three test matches, with the third test doubling as a 1989–1992 Rugby League World Cup tournament match. New Zealand did not play in any other matches while on tour.

References

  1. "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. "Coach Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1991 New Zealand Rugby League, 1991. p.116
  4. "1992–1993 Lancashire Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  5. "23rd January 1993: Bradford 8 Wigan 15 (Regal Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  6. "28th January 1995: Warrington 10 Wigan 40 (Regal Trophy Final)". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  7. "RECORDS" Archived 28 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine at wiganwarriors.com
  8. Will our home-grown talent win the battle with foreign imports? Yorkshire Post, 9 February 2009
  9. Premiers stopped – Vodafone Warriors 26, Manly 24 Archived 25 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine Warriors Official Site, 22 March 2009
  10. "Botica Jr lines up for Harbour". The Dominion Post . 25 August 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  11. "VERSATILE, YOUNG NEW ZEALAND BACK SIGNS FOR HARLEQUINS". [www.quins.co.uk]. 17 April 2012. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  12. "Dragons: RGC 1404 duo Tiaan Loots & Jacob Botica sign". BBC Sport. 2 May 2018.
  13. Carson, Jonathan (29 May 2016). "From the streets to the stadium: The rugby boy of Manila". stuff.co.nz. Fairfax New Zealand Limited. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  14. "Profile at nzwarriors.com". nzwarriors.com. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
Awards
Preceded by
Wayne Shelford
Tom French Memorial
Māori rugby union player of the year

1986
Succeeded by
Wayne Shelford