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Sir Wayne
Shelford MBE

Former All Blacks rugby captain, coach, motivational speaker.


Wayne gained his first experiences of team sport as a teenager, where he played for a local rugby league team in his home town of Rotorua. Although he was not aware at the time, this experience was to provide a stepping stone for Wayne into a rugby career, which would eventually see him as one of the world's most prominent loose forwards.

Quoting from the 1989 Rugby Almanac "The All Black captain W T Shelford, with his excellent ball skills, powerful running and sense of anticipation, must rank as the best player ever seen in this position during the last decade".

Current work


Wayne Shelford is one of the toughest men ever to set foot on a rugby field and in 2007 he was faced with an opponent tougher than him cancer. Wayne is in remission and now speaks about his fight for life.

Previous experience

Wayne began his representative rugby career in 1978 where he played for the New Zealand Colts and the New Zealand Combined Services. He then went on to play for the Auckland Rugby Union in 1982 where he made 28 appearances. In 1985 Wayne was voted Player of the Year and it was also in this year that he joined the North Harbour Rugby Union (a break-away Union) and within three years Wayne led North Harbour to first division status for the 1988 season. He included three tries in his side's conclusive defeat of Hawkes Bay to clinch promotion late in the season.

Wayne made his test debut in 1986 against France with a typically barging try. In 1987 he played in five out of six World Cup matches, scoring two tries in the semi-final match against Wales in Brisbane. He then played against Australia in Sydney and at the end of the season he gained the honour of leading the New Zealand team on their short tour of Japan where he appeared in all five matches. Wayne appeared in 32 matches (13 tests) for the All Blacks and held captaincy from 1987 until 1990 when he was dropped in controversial circumstances.

He then joined Northampton Rugby Club in England as a player and coach. During his time there the senior team, which had an average age of only 23 years, twice made the Cup Final after lifting itself up significantly in the rankings.

As well as representing the All Blacks, Wayne also represented the New Zealand Maori All Blacks (first in 1985) and then captained the 1988 tour.

Wayne's presentation exceeded our expectations. The audience gave him a standing ovation. Lyttelton Port Company

We selected Buck as a key part of our sponsored opening night dinner due to the timing of the upcoming Rugby World Cup with this industry conference. He was an engaging and entertaining speaker who kept the total audience (460 delegates) interested for the full duration of his speech. He delivered what the delegates wanted (rugby related stories and thoughts) and feedback the following day at the conference was very positive.

Goughs Equipment Group

Buck was incredible. He was the right choice for our occasion and engaged with us on a level beyond expected. He joined us for dinner and spoke with us, laughed with us and shared his story. He spoke for an hour and a half (including questions) and engaged with us and made us feel like we knew him. Not only that, but he also didn't just speak and leave, he stayed with us for many hours awards and enjoyed the event. Very much recommended!

Hautapu Haulage

I was extremely pleased to receive a phone call prior to the event from Sir Wayne Shelford checking in and confirming a few logistics, it was reassuring and made the event work well. Sir Wayne Shelford was very well received by our audience and provided an interesting and engaging talk.

Civil Contractors New Zealand Inc

We wanted a motivating but light-hearted speech, which is what Wayne presented. His strong voice made the speech easy to listen to and kept the staff's attention.

Anchor Products Ltd

Wayne provided an informative speech on leadership and teambuilding. It fitted the theme night very well.

Forman Building Systems

A very good link in the presentation between rugby player and forestry worker and [Wayne] hit main parallels in issues relating to health and safety issues as well: the importance of good teamwork, looking after your mates at work and in following good H&S work practices.

Kaingaroa Timberlands Management

Wayne commands the room when he enters. He had the audience completely wrapped from his first word to his last. His message was also very apt and he fulfilled the brief perfectly.

Wellington City Council

Wayne did an excellent job in tailoring his talk to the audience and to the theme of our event. His talk was entertaining as well as being informative and was very well received by all our attendees. He also spent plenty of time chatting to guests after the event which they appreciated.

British New Zealand Business Association

Wayne Buck Shelford was an excellent after dinner speaker “ very entertaining and stuck to his brief (based around teamwork). He was also very approachable and was happy to stick around after his talk to meet people and get photos.

Forest Industry Engineering Association

Wayne was faultless during his presentation, he incorporated his values with the Higgins values and really engaged with the guys. The brief was followed to a high standard.

Higgins Contractors

Buck held the audience well with an excellent presentation.

BNZ AgriBusiness

Men have joined local gyms and have had cardiovascular screening as a result of it.

Whakawhiti Ora Pai
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