Frank Bunce was born in Auckland and attended Mangere College. He began his rugby career playing for the Manukau Club and then made an appearance for the Auckland ‘B’ team back in 1984 and then Auckland in 1986. In 1988, he received his first All Black trial.
Bunce’s rugby career took off when he moved to North Harbour in 1991. He is primarily of Niuean descent but was selected for Western Samoa, toured New Zealand and then played in the 1991 World Cup.
After just one match at second five eight position, Bunce became the regular All Black centre until 1997. Bunce and his North Harbour teammate Walter Little, formed an impressive midfield combination during that period. Some argued it was the best in the world. Bunce appeared for New Zealand at the Sevens, at the first World Cup in 1993.
All together, Bunce played 69 matches for New Zealand of which 55 were tests. He was well known for his ability to ‘read’ a game. He was a powerful runner, had a lot of strength in his tackle and scored 20 test tries over this time.
Bunce was 35 when he played his last test, which made him the second oldest All Black test player, and the oldest back. He was also the most capped test centre at the time.
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