Jock Hobbs

Jock Hobbs
Full name Michael James Bowie Hobbs
Date of birth (1960-02-15)15 February 1960
Place of birth Christchurch, New Zealand
Date of death 13 March 2012(2012-03-13) (aged 52)
Place of death Wellington
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 92 kg (14 st 7 lb)
School Christ's College
Occupation(s) Amateur rugby union player

Sports Executive

Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Flanker
New Zealand No. 836
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1981–1987 Canterbury
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1983–1986 New Zealand 21 (16)

Michael James Bowie "Jock" Hobbs, CNZM (15 February 1960  – 13 March 2012) was a New Zealand rugby union player who was an All Blacks flanker who played in 21 tests between 1983 and 1986, with four tests as captain. In recent years he was prominent in rugby administration. Between 2002 and 2010 he was chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union before standing down due to illness.[1]


Jock Hobbs was born in Christchurch. He played in the first XV at Christ's College in Christchurch, and was a regular first choice for Canterbury from the 1981 season onwards, playing in the failed Ranfurly Shield challenge against Waikato. His test debut came in 1983 against the British and Irish Lions, where he was successor to Graham Mourie. Others that were possible replacements were Bruce Middleton, and Auckland captain at the time, Alwyn Harvey, but Hobbs played so well against the Lions that he was an automatic selection as All Blacks number seven for the next few seasons.

Hobbs was All Black captain on the short tour of Fiji late in 1984 when Andy Dalton was unavailable, and in the tour of Argentina in 1985 when Dalton was again unavailable. He took part in the 1986 New Zealand Cavaliers tour to South Africa, before retiring in 1987 after a succession of concussions.

In 1995 Hobbs was instrumental in retaining New Zealand's leading players when they were on the verge of defecting to Kerry Packer's rebel World Rugby Corporation.[2]

In 2005 Hobbs led New Zealand's successful bid to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup and in the same year was named the Herald’s New Zealander of the year.[3] Jock is the longest serving Chairman in NZRU history and his service to the game was recognized at the 2011 IRB and Steinlager Rugby awards where he received the Vernon Pugh award for Distinguished service and the Steinlager Salver award respectively.[4] He was also a part-time director of finance company Strategic Finance, which was placed in receivership in March 2010. The Financial Markets Authority (“FMA”) investigated the records of this company and concluded their investigation in 2014 when a settlement was reached with the Strategic Finance’ directors and its auditors BDO Spicers. The FMA stated that “While the directors do not admit liability, FMA remains of the view that they are likely to have breached their disclosure obligations under the Securities Act”[5]

The FMA stopped its probe into Mr Hobbs role after medical information disclosed the extent of his illness. [6]

In 2010, Hobbs stepped down from his administrative positions in order to battle leukemia.[7]

Hobbs died on 13 March 2012 at Wellington Hospital.[8]


  1. "Rugby: NZRU keen to keep Hobbs' experience". The New Zealand Herald. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  2. FitzSimmons, Peter (2003). The Rugby War. Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-7322-7882-1.
  3. Cumming, Geoff (17 December 2005). "NZer of the Year: Jock Hobbs".
  4. "Jerome Kaino named NZ rugby player of year". 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  5. "Strategic Finance's $22m settlement - Business - NZ Herald News". 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  6. Tim Hunter. "Illness stopped Jock Hobbs probe". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  7. Hinton, Marc (2010-05-07). "Health forces Jock Hobbs to stand down". Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  8. All Black great Jock Hobbs dies, 13 March 2012

External links

Preceded by
John Anderson
Leadership Award
Succeeded by
Murray Halberg
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