Four new life members confirmed
The Manawatū Rugby Union has four new life members.
Bruce Hemara, Steve Morris, Terry Clare and John Whitehead were all confirmed with the honour at the union’s annual meeting on Thursday night at the Manawatū Rugby Performance Centre.
Former All Black Hemara was also reappointed to his second term as president of the MRU.
Hemara has been associated with the Manawatū Rugby since he was at school and first represented the province at the Under 12 level.
He played 108 senior games for Freyberg Old Boys between 1978 and 1990.
The hooker played 108 games for Manawatū between 1978 and 1990.
In 1982 he was selected for the New Zealand Māori and went on to play eight games.
In 1985 he made his All Blacks debut playing three games on the team’s tour to Argentina.
Following his rugby career, Hemara has been heavily involved in rugby in the region including tenures as the Manawatū Women’s coach, Manawatū B coach and a five-year stint as assistant coach of the Manawatū Turbos between 2006 and 2010.
He has also worked as a rugby development officer in the region.
He is currently working as a rugby development officer at Palmerston North Boys’ High School, and is operatiing as a resource coach for both Freyberg Old Boys and the MRU.
Morris was nominated by Varsity for his 46 years of service to rugby.
The former New Zealand Rugby Board member started his association with Manawatū rugby in 1973 when he joined Varsity as a senior club player.
His playing days culminated in him representing Manawatū B in 1980 and 81,.
From there he turned to coaching and administrating with roles as the coach of the Varsity Senior As (1982-86 and 2003-2006), the Manawatū Colts (1988-92), Manawatū B (1993) and the New Zealand Universiities (1996-1999).
His administrative highlights includebeing president of the MRU between 2007 and 2009, chairman of the MRU between 2010 and 2016, a member of the Hurricanes board between 2011 and 2012 and a member of the New Zealand Rugby Board between 2016-2019.
Fellow Varsity man Whitehead was also added to the union’s life members to acknowledge the substantial contribution he has made on the administration side of the game since arriving at Varsity in 1976. He first joined the club’s committee in 1977.
Whitehead was voted as Varsity’s president in 1995 and 25 years late, it is a role that he still holds.
He has also spent 17 years on the board of the Manawatū Rugby Union taking a key role in the union’s finance sub-committee.
Clare has spent more than 50 years contributing to rugby in Manawatū.
He played for the Feilding Yellows senior A team for 17 years, with 10 years as the team’s captain.
He played 63 games for Manawatū between 1978 and 1985 and was also in the Manawatū sevens team for five years.
Post his playing career, Clare has held a variety of coaching roles including three years as the head coach of Yellows along with age grade appointments at the club and at Feilding High School.
He spent three years as the president of Manawatū Rugby between 2010-2012 and has spent nine years on the MRU board.
Three board positions were also confirmed with Sarah Vining and Tim Myers both returning.
Josh Bradnock opted not to reapply for his position on the board and has been replaced by Shaun Back.
Back is currently the chief executive of Hopkins Farming Group.
During the AGM, the union confirmed a $28,636 defecit for the 2019 year.
Old Boys-Marist’s Mark Andersen and Duncan Mitchell were elected for the two open places on the Manawatū Club Rugby Executive.